49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin runs with the ball after a catch against the Ravens.
49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin runs with the ball after a catch against the Ravens. (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

What an awful day to be a Baltimore sports fan.

Not so much because the Ravens lost to the San Francisco 49ers and because the Orioles didn't qualify for the baseball postseason in the first place.


It's moreso because what might have been -- for both teams -- was made so glaringly obvious by a trio of former Baltimore sports stars.

Against the Ravens, wide receivers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin combined for 198 yards and a touchdown. It was only a couple of seasons ago Boldin and Smith wore purple, forming what -- in hindsight -- might have been the best receiving tandem in franchise history. They did win Super Bowl XLVII together, after all.

A few hours later, Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta wasn't his usual dominant self -- he pitched five innings and allowed four earned runs in a loss to the New York Mets -- but he was still pitching in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series while the Orioles finished 81-81 and missed the postseason.

Unlike Boldin and Smith, Arrieta didn't show much during his time in Baltimore, struggling with the Orioles before the organization finally grew tired of waiting for him to develop into the pitcher he is now.

It didn't take long. Arrieta was instantly more effective in Chicago than he ever was in Baltimore, and now he's among baseball's best pitchers.

Like I said, rough day for Baltimore sports fans. And with the Ravens (1-5) careening toward what might be the worst season in franchise history, baseball free agency likely to end with more disappointment and February (with it's annual reporting of pitchers and catchers) still months away, things might not get much better anytime soon.

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