The 2018 Orioles is a deeply flawed baseball team. As I sat watching the offense accumulate a grand total of one hit through 8 innings against a mediocre-at-best Nick Tropeano and 3 relief pitchers, a sense of calm actually began to wash over me. The night ended with another loss, this time on a hanging 0-2 slider that Justin Upton lined to left field for a walk-off single. Ho-hum.
The Orioles aren’t going to compete this year, nor will they likely compete for the next several years. Now this isn’t a new revelation. Ever since the 2012 season, we knew the proverbial “window” for contending was going to close at the end of the 2018 season. So as the Orioles continued to make moves to double down on winning in 2018 despite a flawed roster – the Orioles in 2019 and beyond be damned – I continued to hold out hope that the team would make a 2012-esque magical run this season.
And so as the losses piled up early in the season and the Orioles dug a hole so big that even Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t miss it and “accidentally” roll his ankle while stepping into, I got mad almost every night. Hoping that at some point the entire lineup would break out of their collective funk, wishing that Brad Brach would have a good outing for a change, praying that Chris Tillman could hit 90mph on the radar gun without throwing the ball in the opposite batter’s box.
But last night, I didn’t get mad. This is who the Orioles are this season. It is simply a bad baseball team. I am going to enjoy the last few days, weeks, or months watching Manny Machado on my team. I am going to enjoy watching Adam Jones play the game the way it is supposed to be played every night. I am looking forward to seeing if Austin Hays, Chance Sisco, DJ Stewart, Ryan Mountcastle, Cedric Mullins, and Tanner Scott can turn into legitimate major leaguers. But I am not looking forward to seeing this team win in 2018. They aren’t going to and I’m finally okay with that.
Let’s hope that the front office rebuilds correctly and quickly. I don’t have a whole lot of faith that the turnaround will be fast. But this isn’t the dark ages. Not yet, at least. There are still many reasons to watch this team – and I will do just that every night as I have for the past 25 years of my life.
When the winning returned to Baltimore in 2012, “Buckle Up” was this team’s rally cry. It’s time to bring it back as the Orioles prepare to lose for a while – buckle up Orioles fans. It’s going to be a long and bumpy ride back to contention.
Jamie Severt is a lifelong Baltimore Orioles fan and current Canton resident. He lives with his wife, son, and dog, who all wonder why he has such an obsession with a team that lets him down so often. Follow Jamie on Twitter @jbsevert