Despite what you see in movies, television, pictures, books, magazines, newspapers and the entirety of the internet, Baltimore is actually a fine little city in its own right. Great bars, beautiful historic districts, postcard views around the harbor; sure the Wire backdrops look cooler, but no one goes to those parts of the city unless they have to, and that “have to” generally relates to buying guns or drugs or whatever after-hours shenanigans they can’t find in Mt. Vernon or Federal Hill.
As for their baseball operation, well, that’s almost the exact opposite. Everyone knows the beautiful ballpark but who knows anything about the team itself? We all know about Hawk’s wild Nick Markakis man-crush, and anyone who knows anything knows the legend of the Iron Man, but then what? Kris Benson? Freddie Bynum? Geronimo Gil, anybody? The club has been terrible forever, desperate to the point of hiring refugees from the Cubs front office because centuries of failure look good compared to the past decade of. . . whatever they call what the O’s have been up to since Davey Johnson left town. Which is a shame, because a city and park that magnificent deserve better.
You’re nobody ’til Sox batters can’t figure you out. The Orioles are slated to trot two, arguably three relative nobodies out for three straight games. If history is to be our guide, this means Sox bats are all but useless until Friday.
You can never hit too many home runs. Or enemy batters. Carlos Quentin is on pace for 94 home runs. This won’t last, but this is still a big part of why April baseball is possibly the most entertaining. Will he and Paulie both drive in 148 runs? Will Josh Fields hit those projected 29 triples? Will Mark Buehrle hit a batter every time out? Only time and the law of middle-of-the-road batting averages will tell.
Win ’em while you can. Jose Contreras and Bartolo Colon might not win a ton of games this year, but it’s probably safe to guess wager that of all the teams in all the world, the Baltimore Orioles would fall into the “ripe for the trouncing” category.
Prediction: Sox take two, an anonymous Oriole pitcher throws a gem and at least one game involves a combined score over 15.