The BSR Staff received an email from our loyal reader, Ravens2488, to explain his thoughts on the Orioles as the finish the 2010 season. Though we may not see eye to eye on the Orioles progression, it should definitely be a focal point as the club enters the off season.

“…batting 5th, the 3rd baseman, number 5, Broooooks Robinson!… Sit back, close your eyes and remember those days of sitting in Memorial Stadium. The year is 1973, the sun is out, the stadium buzzing, Brooks Robinson standing near the 3rd base dugout talking to the kids, Belanger, Dauer, Bumbry and Blair playing “Pepper”. Up the 1st base line just beyond the dugout, Boog, Grich and Baylor are signing autographs. Palmer, McNally, Cuellar and Watt are running sprints in the outfield. A little while later, you in your seat, a coke or beer in one hand, a hotdog in the other. A small transistor radio in your lap. The crackling voices of Chuck Thompson and Bill O’Donnell on the radio.

Then you hear the Orioles announcer… Now batting… #1, Al Bumbry. A couple hours later you hear Chuck Thompson and his all too familiar “Ain’t the beer cold!” The game ends as the Orioles beat the Tigers 3-2. You leave the stadium feeling alive and even the always “double parked” cars of the Eastern High School parking lot cannot crush your spirits. You drive home through the dimly lit city as people are sitting on their steps, radios on, discussing the night’s game.

All is right in the world…

Thirty-seven years later, you are sitting in a sparsely filled Camden Yards, the Orioles in the midst of a thirteen year futile, losing streak. A $7 beer in one hand, $8 nachos in the other. The $25 Orioles hat on your head and the $55 dollar “Adam Jones” jersey squarely on your back. Sounds of baseball all around you, “Go Yankees!”, “You suck Arod”, “C’mon Ump, are you blind?”…

You wait to hear the lineup… Bumbry, Blair, Baylor, Powell, Robinson, Grich, Etchebarren, Belanger, Palmer, oops wrong names, Roberts, Jones, Markakis, Tejada, Scott, Wieters, Pie, Atkins, Izturis, Millwood.

My friends and others deride me because of my extreme disappointment of the Orioles. Its not a hatred you see, I am an Oriole fan, have been one since 1970. I do not bleed Oriole orange. I did for years, until 2001, when I realized the Orioles futility was not going to end soon. Here it is, 2010 and the product has only worsened.

Every new Manager signing, General Manager signing, young player moving up to the Majors is met with hope and promise to the fans… Only to crash and burn.

Would you purchase the same defective product from your local retail store year after year because they changed the color? Raised the price each year? Most people would not until they see that the product has been fixed and has been working problem free for a couple years or more.

You see, I’m an Oriole fan but I am not a consumer of thr Oriole product. My money can be spent on a durable product that I can trust. I never let the Orioles down… they let me down.

Now again comes the promise and hope with the signing of another Manager. I believe the crash will come during the off-season when another 37 year old, Free Agent is signed while the higher priced, high skilled player skipped over with the caveat that the Orioles offered him $80 million while other teams were over the $110 million mark. The “We tried” comment again being played like a broken record.

Excuse me now as I sit down and close my eyes. “…a deep fly ball to left, Yastrzemski goes back, its going, going, gone! Homerun Brooks Robinson… Let the pigeons loose.”

What are your thoughts on the Orioles as they enter this off season? Are they headed in the right direction with Buck Showalter and Andy MacPhail?