Welcome to Orioles Orifice

Never bet.

I have a recurring nightmare. It isn’t like the recurring nightmares you have.

I’m not falling from a building. Or being chased by Chucky. Or sat, clammy-palmed, in an important meeting having lost the power of speech.

I’m actually in control of my own actions, my own fate. And I have chosen, against my better judgement, to play this CD copy of The Muppets version of The Surfaris’ seminal ’60s classic, ‘Wipeout’ again. Reader, be warned, this is the ninth time in a row I have played this track. I literally cannot get enough of Animal’s vocals overlaying the familiar riff, that clanging riff itself, the beachside vibes…

The trouble is, my fellow Scouts (because I’m on a Scout camp and this activity is literally occuring in the hull of a land-locked boat) let’s say they’re a bit sick of ‘Wipeout’ and are want to wipe me out, if you will.

But I digress…

As I was saying, never bet.

Never enter a smart alec barter over a catcher with a funny name.

Don’t wager with people who know things over the right to choose an MLB team for you to watch for the whole of the following year.

Do not, under any circumstances, do stupid things of your own volition.

Do not rely on Jett Bandy.

The thing about that version of ‘Wipeout’ is this – it is really bad. It is there in my waking hell because I hate not just what happened, but that I drove others to their actions myself. I subjected other human beings to a tawdry, horrible mess for my own amusement, and now I live with that every time I go to sleep.

Anyway, the 2018 Baltimore Orioles. The team I have to watch for 162 games because I lost a bet over Jett Fucking Bandy, are going to be cripplingly, stultifyingly appalling.

Worse, they are going to be boring.

If there is one thing in baseball worse than a bad team, it is a boring team.

This is my cross, and I will bear it. I took this bet, and I will take my medicine. But, forgive me if, insodoing, I retch, convulse and cold-sweat in a manner reminiscent of my latest feverish ‘Wipeout’ induced, mid-shower, freakout.

People, this was already a wretched, tawdry assignment, born of a malignant, fetid mind. And that was before this winter of malcontents in Baltimore.

Let’s just remind you of a few things which have happened over this Orioles Offseason…

I mean, blow me, there we are right out of the traps. You mean to tell me that you have an opportunity to sign a generational talent at below market rate and you just passed, ‘because reasons’?

Oooookkayyyy…

And this guy has legitimate ace pitching potential AND hits bombs for fun, and you didn’t even bid because you have an eye-wateringly weird stance to overseas free-agents which has been rotting your franchise from its core for years?

Because, okay, I hear you guys, but you gave $160m dollars to Chris Davis two offseasons ago and have legitimately played him in the outfield.

I get it, guys, sometimes playing a big lumbering guy in the outfield can be fun…

And honestly, at this rate, if ANYTHING is going to fix my attention for 162 games, Mark Trumbo’s audition tape for the Ecole Philippe Gaulier is going to be it. On which, why send Hyun Soo Kim back to Korea? The big guy got paid, and I am delighted for him, but that outfield tandem with Trumbo – Adam Jones snaking from left-left-center to right-right-center, panting like your Mam on the ‘Colour Run’ – had all the makings of some classic banter, and I would have been here for it.

BUT, but, but…If you want to sell tickets to normal baseball fans, I do think Shohei Ohtani may have been a better bet.

What’s this? You’ve decided to forego trading one of the best players in baseball – Manny Machado – for an astronomical package, just because you can?

Dan Duquette you are a maverick and I am not even mad. Alongside Trumbo-vision, watching Machado up until the trade deadline when you inevitably flip him to the Diamondbacks for the rotten core of their turgid farm system, will be one of the few joys of the season. Dan, the next round is on me.

Hey, don’t the Orioles have that really good reliever? At least I’ll get to watch him.

LOL

Anyway, Dan, my man… You do not have a rotation and, as a man who has had his hands burned taking a dicey bet, I can tell you this is a risk.

Kevin Gausman (glasses legend that he is) and Dylan Bundy, do not a rotation, make.

GOOD NEWS JOHN, ANDREW CASHNER IS HERE.

BAD NEWS JOHN, THIS CHART SHOWS ANDREW CASHNER’S xFIP RATES SEASON-TO-SEASON.

I, for one, expect he’ll do very well against Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

This is the worst bet ever, it’s worse than that time my Grandma gave me a quid to put on the Grand National, and not only did the sheepskin-nose-banded idiot not win, it fell at the first fence and had to be put down. Literal tragedy born of wide-eyed, youthful hope.

A horse died, lads.

And this is even worse.

Except…

Chris Tillman is here!

2017 Chris Tillman, with his fastball like a man rolling a marble down a pipe…

I have a recurring nightmare of The Muppets version of The Surfaris ‘Wipeout’ being played over and over and the context doesn’t matter but it was all my fault and I should have known better and I’m trapped with it forever going round and round and round and round.

I have a recurring nightmare of the Baltimore Orioles version of a proper baseball rotation being cranked over and over and the context doesn’t matter but it was all my fault and I should have known better and I’ll be trapped forever with them going round and round and round and round and round.

Never bet.

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