I have glimpsed the future, and it looks frighteningly the same for our woebegone Baltimore Orioles.
The "Baseball Preview" issue of Sports Illustrated has the Birds placing last in the American League East, with 99 losses. It also states that two heralded players, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, could be traded this coming season if the team falters once again.
Being a lifelong fan, I don't want to sound cynical, but what lurks ahead will most certainly be a 15th consecutive losing season. Just yesterday, I told my 19-year-old son that there was a time when the top three organizations in major league baseball were the Yankees, the Dodgers and the Orioles. He seemed dumbstruck.
That, of course, was years before the wheels not only fell off the proverbial cart but the cart crashed and burned as well.
The Sun ran an article recently by Peter Schmuck highlighting the changes at our venerable ballpark for the coming season. The wise decision-making hierarchy figures that if appreciable strides cannot be achieved by the ballplayers themselves, the next best way to lure fans is by altering the aesthetics of an already-pleasing venue to watch a game. The reasoning by the Orioles wizards is that the changes will hopefully lure at least a portion of the fan base that has eroded over the last 14 macabre seasons. I canceled my season ticket package and have not one iota of guilt about doing so.
I personally harbor much resentment and anger about the way the organization I revered as a youngster and young adult has devolved under the current ownership. How much mental anguish can Oriole fans tolerate?
I'm sorry, Mr. Schmuck, but I am not buying into the hype and hoopla regarding the changes at Oriole Park. What really matters is what occurs on the field, not off it. I suppose you could say it's got very much to do with the old "pig and lipstick" adage.
Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham