First of all, let’s just come right out and say that MASN, the Peter Angelos owned regional sports network that broadcasts Orioles’ and Nationals’ games has completely embarrassed itself this weekend. Just about everyone associated with the broadcast has spent the entire weekend complaining about the Yankees “whining,” their “sense of entitlement,” and just basically parroting the company line in every way and at every turn. The only exception I’ve noticed has been color commentator and Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, who tonight noted that the Yankees “certainly had a reason” for being upset about the situation.
And they most certainly do! Thanks to the layout of the schedule and make up games already on the docket, the Yankees only had one full day off in the month of September, and they’ve lost that now. This even though the Yankees proposed the eminently reasonable course of action of playing a double header Friday, instead of Saturday, which would have left them able to play a second twin-billing Sunday or Monday as well, and thus getting all five schedule games in between Friday and Monday. The Orioles refused that idea, supposedly unwilling to give up a night game weekend gate against the Yankees. But, of course, since the game has now been rescheduled for a Thursday afternoon, they’re losing that gate anyway.
Not that the Orioles are the only guilty party, however. The Orioles reportedly agreed to play a double header at Yankee Stadium in which Baltimore would take the gate from the second game when the Orioles come to New York next month (which I’m pretty sure was Angelos’ goal all along), but the commissioner’s office reportedly nixed that proposition, supposedly because an extra home game would be “unfair” to the teams the Yankees are in a playoff battle with. Because taking away the only true day off they have for an entire month won’t be unfair to the Yankees, or anything. Certainly not in the view of the Orioles’ mouthpiece, anyway.
But the award for the most bizarre statement of all goes to, who else, Buck Showalter, who somehow worked the tragic suicide of Mike Flanagan into the equation:
“First of all, I felt that some of the stuff was a little disrespectful to Flanny, quite frankly. That didn’t sit with me very well. I can tell you that,” Showalter said, referencing Wednesday’s tragic death of Mike Flanagan.
I mean…what? I honestly have no idea what this could possibly mean. The idea of playing a doubleheader Friday was disrespectful? I understand that the Orioles were coming home for the first time since the event, but it’s hardly as though they were set to forfeit Friday night’s game or anything. There’s still baseball to be played, and the weather is what it is.
I don’t think I’m the only one by any means, but I’m quickly getting tired of Buck Showalter’s new act. Showalter took over a team on pace to be historically bad last season, and proceeded to go 34-23 the rest of the season (though still finishing in last place, of course) after which he was quickly crowned the king of Baltimore, non-Ravens division. This season, however, the Orioles are back to being bottom feeders, despite having Showalter around for over a year now. In other words, Showalter proved to be mostly hype and very little substance when it came to turning around baseball in Charm City.
Not that that’s kept him from talking a big game by any means. No, Buck loves to talk, especially when the subject turns to the Yankees and Red Sox. Showalter loves to talk about how the Orioles “aren’t afraid of those guys up North” and “you don’t win games with your checkbook,” amongst various other barbs he’s thrown at the Yanks and Sawx. Has the performance of the Orioles merited such big talk? Of course not, the Orioles currently “boast” the lowest winning percentage in the American League and stand 28 games behind first place Boston, 26 games behind the Yankees.
Perhaps Buck might consider giving the talk a rest until the Orioles are a bit closer to their division rivals in the standings. Of course, odds are he’ll have worn out his welcome in yet another organization long before that happens, so I do suppose he might as well get his licks in now.