Baltimore Orioles: Take what’s yours or someone else will make it theirs

The Baltimore Orioles have struggled with the same issue for most of the season. No, not pitching, hitting, or any other on the field issue. The biggest issue they’ve had is stepping up and taking what’s rightfully theirs. Whether it’s a game, a series, or anything else. And if you don’t take what’s yours, it’ll eventually cease to belong to you.

Ubaldo Jimenez got banged around a bit in the first inning yesterday, and in fact ended up setting the tone for the game. Jimenez’s line: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Jimenez gave up a two-run homer to Lowrie and then a solo shot to Healy in the first inning. Healey would also add a two-run homer in the fifth, and the Birds trailed 5-0.

They got back into it in the last of that fifth inning however, when Manny Machado smacked a two-run homer. Jonathan Schoop would also add on a two-RBI single in the eighth to bring the Birds to within one. The O’s ended up allowing Oakland out of the inning with the lead however, as they were unable to put a final run across to tie the game.

And Oakland took advantage of that. Davis’ solo homer in the top of the ninth all but iced the game. However the O’s did have the tying run at the plate at one point in the last of the ninth. But they allowed Oakland to pitch out of it, dropping this one 6-4.

Make no mistake that the Orioles attempted a valiant comeback in this game. However they’re a much better team than Oakland is (on paper). Heck, they’re a better team than a lot of the teams ahead of them in the standings – again, on paper. So…why have they struggled all year to keep their heads above water?

Because as I said earlier, if you don’t stand up and forcibly take what’s yours, it’ll cease to be yours. There’s always someone else waiting in the wings who’s hungry and audacious enough to step in and make what’s rightfully yours into what’s theirs. And that’s what happened to the 2017 Orioles. Teams who in theory shouldn’t even be in competition with the Birds have actually been hungrier – and they’ve found ways to get ahead.

Here’s a real life example – and this is a true story. A close friend of mine is established in his/her job, and is good at it. An intern came in and literally started acting like s/he owned the place – demanding respect, and in essence asking for top billing as a member of the department. My friend started seeing his/her own experience used against them in the sense that the intern was using my friend’s stories in the field as their own.

I immediately told my friend that this person was gunning for their job. And my advice was to step up and make it very clear that this person was just an intern and couldn’t get top billing in the department. Luckily for my friend, s/he listened to me and did just that. When the intern was confronted, s/he admitted that s/he was hoping that my friend would quit and s/he’d get hired. Said intern has since left the country for another job. Funny thing was, this ticked my friend off so much that s/he did at one point consider quitting. The intern almost succeeded.

That obviously has nothing to do with baseball. But it illustrates that this is a dog-eat-dog world. It’s unfair and it’s wrong; but sometimes what’s rightfully yours comes under attack. And if you just “ho-hum it along,” you’re going to lose what’s yours. Challengers are always hungrier – think of the 2012 Orioles.

So if the Birds want to have a shot at the postseason, they need to stop dropping games like this to teams such as Oakland. There’s no reason they should have split that series out on the west coast, and there’s no reason they should have lost last night. As I said, take and defend what’s yours, or someone else will.

The series concludes this afternoon at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Daniel Gossett of Oakland. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.

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