The Baltimore Orioles are on pace for the third 100 loss season in their franchise’s 56 year history. The Orioles lost 100 games in 1954 when the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and 107 in 1988 when the Orioles started the season 0-21. In 2011, the O’s sit at 47-77, a .379 winning percentage and 29.5 games back of the first place New York Yankees in the American League East.
Currently, the Orioles have won just five of their 19 games in August and have just concluded a series in which the Angels swept them out of Los Angeles. Not only is 100 losses looming for Buck Showalter’s team, but 2011 will also be the Orioles fourteenth straight losing season.
The last time the Orioles had a winning season Bill Clinton was President, Timothy McVeigh was sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombings two years earlier, Princess Diana passed away, Titanic became the highest-grossing film of all time and the Toyota Prius, the first hybrid vehicle, was unveiled in Japan. The iPod, Facebook, high definition television, Viagra, the Blackberry and Red Box were not yet invented, the Ravens had just finished their first year in Baltimore and I was nine years old and in Ms. Roser’s fourth grade class. It’s been a while since this franchise has played meaningful baseball and it’s sad to see another season end in such a tailspin.
One of the positives I take from the pain of the 2011 season has been Adam Jones’ consistent performance. Though not named an All-Star this year, Adam Jones make highlight catches more consistently this year than he did in 2009 when he won his first Gold Glove. Jones now sits just below .300 with a career high 22 home runs and 77 RBI. Jones has played in 122 games for the O’s this season and if he stays healthy, he will surpass his career high of a 149. In a lost season, Jones is the glimmer of hope for the Orioles future. He’s a superstar that doesn’t get enough national attention because of the Orioles slumping season. Among American League centerfielders, Jones is second in average, tied for first in games, tied for third in doubles, tied for second in home runs and third in slugging percentage. To no one’s surprise, Jones is behind Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury and New York’s Curtis Granderson in most of those categories.
Though 2011 is another lost season for the Baltimore Orioles, they should have two goals from now until October. The first is that they should try everything they can to avoid their third 100 loss season in franchise history and the second is to re-sign Adam Jones to a long-term deal. Jones is making $3.25 million this season and becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2012.
Zach Wilt is the founding editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com. You can follow him on twitter @zamwi or send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.