The Baltimore Orioles are a Major League Baseball team. As such, they generally want as many people to watch them as possible. More attention means more popularity, and it means more money, which can aid the organization in its hunt to remain competitive. Players like Mike Gonzalez and Vladimir Guerrero won't sign themselves.
However, Wednesday afternoon, the Orioles played a road matinee against the Oakland Athletics. This was a game that pretty much nobody watched, and for that, in this instance, the Orioles were thankful. Why were they thankful? Because over the course of the game, they looked really stupid. It's one thing to be seen losing. The Orioles are very frequently seen losing. It's quite another to be seen screwing everything up. That's just embarrassing. It benefits nobody to be seen like that.
Orioles: What a terrible game we played.
Orioles: What were the ratings?
Ratings Guy: Three.
Ratings Guy: Three people watched.
Much to the Orioles' chagrin, though, I was paying attention, and I just can't leave this game unacknowledged. There was too much in there for me to sweep under the carpet. So let's go to the highlight reel! I hope this doesn't make the Orioles too mad.
The Orioles very quickly darted out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. They were trailing before they recorded an out in the bottom. Part of it had to do with the pitching, but part of it had to do with Nolan Reimold, right here, doing this with the bases loaded. Reimold got caught like a flat-footed hockey defender. The line they say in hockey is that a defender has to keep his feet moving, and though that might look weird in a baseball game, Reimold might want to consider it, because it couldn't possibly make him look more stupid than he did on this double. This was scored as a double.
- B. Allen tripled to deep center, B. Allen scored on center fielder A. Jones' fielding error
There are actually three mistakes here. Adam Jones obviously fails to pick up the baseball the first time, and then he kicks it like an idiot, but before either of those, Jones played this ball really poorly off the wall. It should've been a double. Because it bounced back over Jones' head, it was a triple. Because Jones subsequently couldn't pick up a ball built specifically to fit easily in a human hand, it was a triple and a one-base error that allowed the batter to score. The batter was Brandon Allen, who is listed as the third-heaviest player on Oakland's entire team..
There are three things that I absolutely love about this:
- That foul grounder hit Jason Berken in the face in front of everyone
- This is included as an official MLB.com game highlight
- The ball wouldn't have hit Berken in the face if he hadn't tried to make a play on it for no reason. When infielders take balls to the face because of funny hops, you just have to shrug it off, because it's part of the job. Getting hit in the face is not part of Jason Berken's job. Certainly not when he's sitting down in the bullpen. Jason Berken was responsible for Jason Berken getting hit in the face.
You have to watch that whole clip. This was the game's final play. What's funny is that it begins with Oakland's David DeJesus looking stupid. But DeJesus redeems himself, and it's the Orioles who end up looking stupid instead.
- N. Markakis singled to shallow right, R. Andino scored, B. Davis to third, B. Davis out at home, N. Markakis to second
Maybe it isn't fair to say the Orioles look stupid on this one. It was, after all, a close play at home, and that was the potential tying run. But even if the Orioles don't look stupid, they look bad, because they got the tying run thrown out at home for the final out of the game with Adam Jones waiting on deck. Jones has been the team's best hitter.