Can you be a fan of a team and want them to lose? Because that's what I'm doing with the Orioles right now.
I want them to lose. Yeah, I said it. And here's why...
Winning a few games here and there isn't going to do the O's a damn bit of good in the grand scheme of things. It's really just going to hurt their chances at what could be their first 100 loss season since 1988. After all, I'm sick of the 90 loss seasons. If we're going to suck ass, at least do it with some gusto.
Any sorry team can go out and post a 70-92 record like the Birds did last year. But when I look back and see 70-92 or some variation of that record, I think to myself, "Damn, they sucked that year." This time, I want to look back on the 2007 season and say, "Holy shit, I forgot about how absolutely dreadful they were!"
If anything, let's make year #10 a year to remember.
The tragedy, however, is that they shouldn't be this bad. When the season started, even the most pessimistic fan believed they had a legit shot to crack the .500 barrier. They had a roster perfect for platoons and a young pitching staff with tons of potential.
But then Perlozzo and the front office totally butchered the roster management (Knott still only has 4 AB's in an O's uni) and platoons are about as likely as a Dodo bird landing on your front lawn. Then the pitchers started dropping like flies.
But let's face it, these are the Orioles we're talking about.
The 2007 team was constructed to be a .500 team, as they have been for years. How else can you justify Deivi Cruz and Omar Daal as your marquee signings? If that is the goal, the worst case scenario is going to be a 100 loss season, like it could very well be this season.
But if the O's set their sights higher, and actually did some intriguing things once in a while, like go out and get as much young high-OBP talent as possible, instead of filling out your roster with cuddly fan favorite players like Mora, Roberts and Gibbons, then you might actually be able to set your sights on the playoffs and beyond. That way, when the injuries crop up, the worst case scenario is .500.
We've said it a million times, and each time it's said the cement it's written in just gets a little drier. Angelos has no incentive to win. He's making money one way or another. Even if attendance continues to drop he will still be laughing all the way to the bank while O's fans pay the price.
The only thing O's fans can do as the losses mount is stay away and hope that empty stadiums embarrass Angelos into actually doing something different for once. Stop signing mediocre players, for one. Allow the front office, as incompetent as they may be, to make moves on their own, without every little detail of a trade being analyzed and ultimately vetoed.
Going 81-81 is probably the worst thing imaginable for this team right now. It will lull the front office and Angelos into thinking they're on to something, and then they'll just keep doing more of the same.
So that's why I root for the losses to continue. Wins won't come as often as they need to to make a run at the playoffs, so why win at all? Football fans root for losses all the time to get a better draft pick. Why can't I do the same? Only, other than the better draft pick, I'll get to watch as Angelos has to defend his decisions, and hopefully, change the way he does things.
So let's make this a season to remember and see how Angelos reacts when the O's drop a 3-digit number in the loss column for 2007.