As the trade deadline approaches, teams are reloading to make a run for the playoffs. It’s arguable whether the Orioles (so far, lone) acquisition, Gerardo Parra, can push them over the top. The Orioles are tantalizingly close to the Wild Card, but at this point, it is difficult to determine whether they have enough in the tank to make it to the playoffs, and beyond.
This got us to wondering: if not the Orioles, then who? More specifically, who could win it all that would bother you the most? Here’s our list:
1. Toronto Blue Jays
Let’s face it: this rivalry has heated up over the past couple of seasons, as both clubs have risen out of insignificance to prominent roles in the AL East. Things came to a head with the Darren O’Day / Jose Bautista “situation.” It has all the makings of a good rivalry. Orioles and Blue Jays fans are rediscovering their swagger – the internet wasn’t a thing back when the Jays and Orioles were winning World Series, most recently. But the trolls, on both sides, have come out.
Watching the Blue Jays celebrate a World Sereis victory would be the least palatable possibility.
2. Kansas City Royals
I’ll admit it. This is as much about budding rivalry as it is about envy. I haven’t enjoyed the way that the Royals and their fans have adjusted to winning ways. Many Orioles’ fans were irked by the These O’s Ain’t Royal flap during the playoffs, but I was more upset by being swept out of the ALCS in what felt like a special season. 2014 came to a bitter end because of the Kansas City Royals. I may never forgive them.
But I’ll admit it. Some of it comes down to wishing it was my team that made it to the World Series… wishing it was my team who was not in danger of falling back to mediocrity. Wishing it was my team whose fan base was so engaged that they nearly swept the All Star voting. As I said back in October, they are living my dreams, in many respects.
3. Washington Nationals
This one hits closer to home. Literally. Watching the Washington Nationals win a World Series would be hard, because many of us have friends and family who are Nats fans. It would be highly personal. The gloating would be simply unbearable. It would also be a blow to watch the team who is busy working with MLB to weasel out of a deal they made in good faith, so that they could enter the Orioles’ market, attain the ultimate on-the-field success.
A Nationals’ World Series victory would put Orioles fans in the front row: watching a fan base whose stadium is a mere 40 miles from Camden Yards throw the parade and bask in the glory. No thanks.
4. New York Yankees
This is the gold standard. The Yankees are a true evil empire, whose fans are simply the worst – particularly because there are so many transplants and turncoats in the Baltimore/Washington area. Being made to hate going to games in my own stadium is enough for me to wish for the Yankees to be a dumpster fire, forever.
The Yankees could suck for a generation without me feeling an ounce of pity for them, or their fans. Let them count their rings in the museum.
But these are dark thoughts. The Orioles have 61 games to bring the Magic back to Baltimore.