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Blue Jay Way paves over Camden Yards

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

by Timothy Tilghman

Only the Baltimore Orioles could deliver a really poor performance losing to the Toronto Blue Jays not once but twice in the same day on July 24, 2008. Because of a downpour on Wednesday night, the July 23 ballgame was postponed. That suspended ballgame was resumed at 12:05 pm in the sixth inning on the following afternoon.

Toronto was leading against Baltimore. At the top of the eighth inning, the Blue Jays scored two runs in row as a result of two errors in a row at home plate. A third run was knocked in to add further injury. That final score was Toronto 5 - Baltimore 1.

Being an afternoon ballgame, there was no particular demand for Orioles tickets. A handful of fans and scalpers were hawking spare tickets in the No Scalp Zone. There were actually a few entire sections that remained empty throughout the game. However, the best seats were those undercover in the shade.

The scheduled ballgame for Thursday started just shy of 2:00 pm. The Blue Jays and the Orioles strove to put runners on base and score. Unfortunately, it would be Toronto that took the lead in the third inning with two runs. Next inning, a third run was secured.

Then, a serious moment occurred at the plate when Blue Jays #9 Gregg Zaun lost control of the bat during his swing at the ball and the bat was flung into the stands sailing over the club dugout. Curious: does the fan get to keep the bat if it's caught in the stands?

Toronto notched up its fourth run in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded for the Blue Jays in the sixth inning and no outs, Zaun drove in their sixth run. Although replacement Orioles pitcher #26 was put in, an error at second base generated the seventh run for Toronto.

Baltimore managed to eke out a single run against Toronto in the bottom of the sixth inning. The ballgame concluded after 2 hours & 45 minutes: Blue Jays 7 - Orioles 1. The Orioles's abysmal performance may be attributed to pitching deficiencies. Toronto batted 13 hits.

The Orioles have been disappointing their ardent fans for far too many seasons. Toronto won three of four visiting ballgames on the road against Baltimore. Club manager Cito Gaston cited the Blue Jays teamwork as a factor in their success on the diamond.

This season's Orioles losing streak for Sunday ballgames was reminiscent of their infamous record breaking losing streak in the Spring of 1988. The Bird's last World Series pennant was 1983. The Charm City team has essentially limped and labored in the shadow of that historic victory ever since.

Baseball Hall of Fame legend Baltimore Orioles #8 Cal Ripken, Jr., was a mega-star attraction for the club. With his departure after the 2001 season, the Orioles have struggled to draw attendance. The misanthropic actions of Angelos that have negatively impacted the Orioles have been an impediment to their recovery and advancement.

If there was to be an independent poll among fans taken at Oriole Park, which answer would be the popular response: the Orioles are a solid team with an inaccurate reputation or a weak club with an exaggerated reputation. Doubt they wish to know fans opinions.

2008 Timothy Tilghman