This weekend must have been hell for the Baltimore Orioles. Sure, they managed to salvage one game out of three from the Sox, but that's the only thing that could possibly go in the "positives" column on their weekend tally.
They got absolutely destroyed on Friday, getting shut out by a dominating Clay Buchholz, and were shut down pretty well by a slightly less masterful Jon Lester the following night. They DID manage to scrape out a win last night, but it took 11 innings! To top it all off, their manager just got fired, as if it's his fault they're 21 games back in a division where the top three teams have won the AL Pennant in the last three years, and four of five teams are over .500.
In fact, the NL West is the only other division in baseball to have four of five teams playing better than .500, and their fourth place team is 29-27, a far cry from the 33-25 (Boston and Toronto) second to worst record in the AL East.
It's no wonder Baltimore can't compete. And not only that, but the only times they play in front of a sold-out crowd at beautiful Camden Yards, the visiting team has more fans than they do. That must be a pretty horrible feeling, wearing your home whites with little to no fan support.
The Orioles were once a proud franchise, winning the World Series in 1966, 1970, and 1983, and the AL Pennant in 1944, 1969, 1971, and 1979. Unfortunately, the O's have made the playofs just twice in the Wild Card Era, in 1996 (WC), and 1997 (AL East Champs), and so their loyal fans have suffered with them.
Yes, Orioles fans exist! I worked on a project with one such fan last semester, and at the end of a group email after the O's swept the Sox I added a postscript: "PS The Orioles are ruining my life!" He took it in stride and emailed back the information I needed for the assignment, adding a note of his own: "GO O'S!"
At the time, I was a little annoyed, but looking back, I should have offered him my condolences - for me, the Orioles were a passing annoyance, and they're back to being a doormat - for him? The O's have been a frustration and disappointment since he was eight years old, and the immediate future isn't looking too bright, either.
I feel bad for the players, sure... But they have the chance to leave town via free agency or a trade. As for the fans? Their only other regional choice is the Nationals, and I don't know about you, but I'd stick with the once great Orioles and bide my time rather than jump ship to a oft-moving, ever failing club like the Nats.
So godspeed Orioles fans, I wish you all the best - just not when you're playing Boston.