Forget Yogi, O's fans -- it's been over for a while

Orioles manager Buck Showalter watches Saturday’s game during the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter watches Saturday’s game during the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

A little more than two months ago, the Orioles were in first place, a half-game ahead of the Yankees, and one of the surprises of the young season.

Can y'all remember that far back?


Seems like ages ago, I know. And if anyone thought May and June were rough (the Orioles went 12-16 in each month), welcome to July.

There's a popular movie quote I've used throughout my life writing about sports. When things look bleak and comebacks are null and void, when all hope appears lost, I turn to Col. Trautman telling John Rambo, "It's over, Johnny!" in a memorable scene from "First Blood."


Rambo, of course, goes into a soliloquy about Vietnam and war and heroes. But, 35 years later, we don't need Sly Stallone's acting chops for this.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter Camden Yards for the remainder of 2017.

It's over, Johnny.

Any visions of a hot start to the second half melted in the summer heat this weekend. Unless you're a Cubs fan, that is.

It's no shock that many of the 31,105 at the ballpark Sunday were clad in blue, on the verge of a three-game sweep to start their second half. Their team lost an eight-run lead in the first game yet still managed to come away with the win.

Those are the leads Orioles fans can only dream of these days.

Chicago capped the sweep with an 8-0 win, dropping the Orioles to 3-9 this month. Dropping them to seven games below .500. Dropping them further out of contention — if that even seems relevant at this point.

When fans are chiding the home team's players in the first three innings, and no one around them cares, do the jeers really count?

Sure they do.

Ubaldo Jimenez absorbed most of the boos when manager Buck Showalter took the ball from him in the fourth inning. Jimenez got through 3 2/3 innings and surrendered six runs on 11 hits; hence the disapproval from the fans.

The Orioles rotation is on pace to be the fourth this century to finish a season with an ERA of 6.00 or higher

He has been Baltimore's whipping boy for a few years now, but Jimenez is hardly the sole source of the problem.

One-fifth of a very bad starting rotation — Jimenez, Chris Tillman, Dylan Bundy, Wade Miley, and Kevin Gausman, with a few other spot starts thrown in, has amounted to an ERA of more than 6.00.


Fans were cautiously optimistic when the club's offseason moves didn't include going after a starting pitcher, so it makes sense their ire grows with each terrible outing.

I don't want to say things are bad in Baltimore, but Sunday's "Kids Run the Bases" post-game event drew more cheers.

The Camden Yards video screen stopped displaying social media messages during the game for fear of parents having to cover their kids' eyes.

But wait — remember that 22-10 start, the one that made some people believe this could be another exciting season?

Long gone (the Birds have lost 39 of their last 59), and things are teetering on the brink.

Buyers about a month ago, maybe, but it's a sellers market in Charm City. If the Orioles can find the right deals for just about anybody on their roster, let the "fire sale" commence.

This team may — and should — look quite different in 2018.

Help on the way, you say? Hardly. Prospects appear few and far between, either coming off injury or not quite ready to contribute.

A few years ago, that wasn't the case. But the Orioles were playing in pennant chases, a major factor in postseason baseball and looking to add pieces to a winning team.

To do that, they parted ways with some minor leaguers in order to try and win.

It worked to a degree — no AL team has more wins since 2012 than the Orioles — but after five seasons of relative success, this one has become the stinker.

And for anyone still clinging to the idea of some magical baseball moment that might lead to a resurgence, save it.

Yogi Berra might have uttered it. Lenny Kravitz may have used it for the name of a song.

But it doesn't hold true, at least not with these Orioles.

Sorry, guys. It's over.


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