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Markakis’ Injury Continues Black Cloud Thought Over Orioles: A Fan’s Take
As a loyal follower of the Baltimore Orioles, I sometimes have to wonder: Is this team just in a 15-year run of bad luck or has this franchise become cursed? Whichever side of the argument you come down on, you will have to admit this team seems to be followed by a dark cloud.
Heading into the 2011 season, the Orioles seemed to be on paper a better club. However, injuries and under-performing players once again doomed them to another losing season.
So the 2012 season is just about in sight, and like time the black cloud seems to be right on schedule. Looking at the roster as it stands now, well, it looks pretty thin. A few months ago, at least Orioles fans could hang their hat on a good top of the lineup. Brian Roberts leading off, Nick Markakis batting second, and most likely Adam Jones in the 3-hole. Well, get out that black marker and start changing that around.
First, it was the news that Brian Roberts is taking things day-by-day. Where I come from, day-by-day is code for "not ready for spring training." There goes the leadoff man out of the lineup and there is no one else on the team that can really perform that role. So much for all those positive reports about his progress and how he was going to make a full recovery. Sure seems like he might have played his last full season.
With this news, Baltimore now has to patchwork together a leadoff by committee. That is a significant setback, but now news breaks that Nick Markakis has undergone abdominal surgery and will be lost for at least six weeks. They say he will be ready for opening day, but being a Washington resident I saw how long it took Ryan Zimmerman to get back to his typical play. To me, this indicates that Markakis might not be right till around June.
This injury resulted from a diving try at a catch in the outfield. Brian Roberts' concussion issues started when he clobbered himself on the head with a bat. It really has to make you wonder. Last season, we had promising young pitchers who were going to step up. Brian Matusz got hurt in spring training. Jake Arrieta gets to 10 wins and then has elbow surgery. Zach Britton started great and then fizzled for the most part.
It just seems that any moves the team makes backfire. Vladimir Guerrero seemed like a perfect DH/No. 4 hitter in the lineup. His stroke did not come back till August. Derrek Lee came around long enough to get traded and that was about it. The team has managed to end up in the top 10 of the draft for a decade now and really does not have one star player to show for it.
It is hard to not think that something follows this team. I can hear the fans saying now, "It is Peter Angelos and he is killing the team." While Mr. Angelos can be blamed for not spending the loot at key points, he did not injure these folks or draft guys that ended up being hurt or no good. One can only hope that Dan Duquette can find lightning in a bottle somehow.
The bad tidings have come in every form—from freak injuries to little Jeffrey Maher reaching over the fence to change the course of an American League Championship Series versus the New York Yankees. The Baltimore franchise used to be one of the proudest franchises in all of sports. Now it seems to be in need of a giant fan to blow the ever-growing number of dark clouds away from Camden Yards.
Though a Washington native, John Atchison grew up a fan of the Baltimore Orioles. Many think he should now become a Nationals supporter, but he says the Black and Orange is where he will stay! Follow him on Twitter @John_Atchison.
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