Ten days ago, I asked on the blog if the 2011 Orioles season could get any worse. Nine losses, 75 runs allowed and one demotion of Zach Britton later, the answer is a resounding yes -- a Marv Albert-type yes.
This weekend's four-game sweep at the hands of the Red Sox was so ugly, it's hard to imagine that things could get any uglier for the Orioles. At least we know most of Baltimore won't be watching if they do.
The Orioles were outscored 32-13 in the series -- the only fight they showed was when Kevin Gregg got in a slap fight with David Ortiz on Friday and when Michael Gonzalez chucked a pitch behind Ortiz on Sunday -- and they entered the All-Star break on a seven-game losing skid. Mark Reynolds and Vladimir Guerrero each got hit in the hand by Boston pitches on Sunday, and Britton was demoted after Friday's beatdown.
The only good news to come out of this weekend was that J.J. Hardy is hopeful that a contract extension with the Orioles will be reached during the All-Star break, and God bless him for still wanting to stick around after this road trip.
Unfortunately, a glance at the start of the second-half schedule makes me think the Orioles haven't yet toed rock bottom this summer. The last-place Orioles play the Red Sox, Yankees, Angels and Indians after the break. They play one series against team with a losing record in July. The Blue Jays. In Toronto. We know how that one is probably going to go.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter has voiced his frustration with his team's lack of execution and focus the past month. The most interesting manager in the world could do no wrong in his first 100 games on the job, but if fans grow more frustrated with a perceived lack of interest and intensity from some Orioles players, Showalter might get seriously criticized for the first time in his tenure.
These next few weeks should be pretty interesting, especially with the trade deadline lurking less than three weeks away.
As they say, things have to get worse before they can get better. But they can't get better until they stop getting worse. Who knows when that will be, but what's on the horizon looks equally as gloomy.