Wow, back-to-back crummy Steves. Didn't even noticed until I started writing the post. Unlike Mr. Jeltz, Steve Kline did have a chance to rain down woes upon the Baltimore faithful, collecting a $2.5 million paycheck in 2005 to post a mediocre 4.28 ERA and a disappointing 1.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and cough up a home run every 5.5 innings. Kline, a classy and tactful gentleman who once flipped off manager Tony LaRussa in-game during his time with the Cardinals, instantly earned the respect of O's fans by complaining that he was "miserable" in Charm City and wished he had never left St. Louis. He said these things during the second week of his Orioles tenure. Love you too, #41.
Steve Kline's foot-in-mouth moment was pretty low, but it's got nothing on the depths that the current team is plumbing. I've tried to ignore them, but the futility is pretty staggering right about now. When the Birds won their 60th game a week and a half ago, I assumed that they would at the very least be able to grab three W's in their final 17 contests to avoid the big ugly round number of 100 losses. Ten straight defeats later, I look like an idiot. They've just been swept by an Indians team that entered the weekend on an 11-game skid of their own, and in the grotesque finale today, Baltimore's baseball team allowed Cleveland's team to score more (nine runs) than Baltimore's football team allowed to their Cleveland counterparts (three points). Only those perpetual punch lines in Pittsburgh and Washington are keeping the O's from being the worst team in all of baseball. I hate this, because I know how many great young players have made their mark on the 2009 team, but hardly any of them are left standing due to injuries and/or organization-mandated shutdowns and it's not making the current team any easier to watch. Everything has changed and yet nothing has changed.
162 games is a death march when your team is no good, and when it's been no good since you were in high school. If Baltimore didn't have a stable, talented football team, I just don't know what I'd do with myself.