11 Going on 12......Same O's Story, Just a Different Year!

John JohnsonContributor IDecember 23, 2008

A once storied franchise has now found its self as one of the laughing stocks of the league.

After 11 straight losing seasons and constant rejection by marquee free agents, the Baltimore Orioles will now encounter just as much hardship at home as they will on the road.

By missing out on the hometown hero in Mark Teixeira, the Orioles are left empty handed and barely afloat as the AL east gets stronger by the minute.

With the fans seething at Owner Peter Angelos, GM Andy McPhail and Mark Teixeira, I began to wonder, “Why can’t the Orioles sign anyone worth a grain of salt?” Aren’t they tired of hearing and bringing in players like the Tim Redding’s and Mark Hendrickson’s of the world?  

It’s an interesting question to think about. When Adam Loewen decided to make the switch from pitcher to outfielder, the Orioles bent over backwards to help prolong his career and ease his adjustment.

He was even allowed to remain with the big club and work with “the King of Swing” in hitting coach Terry Crowley. Instead of appreciating the work and the effort the Orioles had put in, Loewen bolted out the door leaving the O’s empty handed at the altar and accepting a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

I would think someone within the organization would have felt disrespected, but then again this wasn’t the first time. In Loewen there was not guarantee he would turn out to be a suffice outfielder but, it’s the principle of the matter.

The Orioles have fallen so far from grace that they can’t even find a home for spring training. While discussing possible contracts with Vero Beach, Fl (former home of the Dodgers) and Sarasota, Fl the Orioles did not exactly receive the most heartwarming of welcomes.

Vero Beach got sick of negotiating and put on a 30 day break in which another team could swoop in, and Sarasota had nothing but nice things to say about the Orioles franchise.  (And yes I’m being sarcastic) Sarasota told Baltimore officials that they would be willing to negotiate on higher terms had they been a “premier” franchise like the Red Sox’s. To many this would be an ultimate sign of disrespect, yet the Orioles still hope and plan to do business with them.

For the life of me I don’t understand why the Orioles organization is trying to do. Last year the city had accepted the idea and concept of rebuilding.  

People were willing to take the losing and the growing pains that come with the process. And there were some glimmers of hope in outfield prize in Adam Jones and the arrival of catching prospect Matt Wieters and pitchers Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman.

But, this off-season the thought of bringing in Mark Teixeira and closing the gap on being competitive left Oriole fans seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, only to have that light blocked out by Yankee pinstripes.

A city yearning for a winner has again been left wanting more by its inconsistent ownership. The Orioles have the money to spend, it’s not like they are the Minnesota Twins and other small market organizations. Baltimore owns its own network and after years of winning and not spending owner Peter Angelos has stocked with money.

Every year it’s about the “future” and “we’ll be better next year” with the Orioles. Well, when that day arrives someone please wake me up and maybe then I’ll consider spending my hard earned money. Like most fans I’ve had enough with the losing and I can’t stand anymore. Hummm….maybe I’ll drive a little further down ’95 and buy season tickets to the cross town Washington Nationals. Hey, at least it’s a fresh start.