The Orioles finally snapped their losing streak with a 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay last night, ending the streak at 13 losses in a row. It is clearly one of the worst times in Orioles history. So the Baltimore Sun has an interesting poll up today, what is the worst black mark in Orioles history? The choices are in order in the poll:
--0-21 to start the 1988 season
--4-32 finish in 2002
--12 consecutive losing seasons
--13-game losing streak in 2009
--30-3 loss to the Rangers in 2007
--107 losses in 1988
So we have our options. Let's take a look at some of these, and I'll give my thoughts as to what I believe.
First, I am taking off two of them. First is the 30-3 loss to the Rangers in 2007. As bad as that was, that was one game. One bad game can never be as bad as losing multiple games. Also, that game was the first part of a doubleheader. It is certainly possible that if the Orioles did not need to conserve people in their bullpen the damage would have been a lot less, but the decision was made to wait. But regardless, it is one game. The second is this past losing streak. As bad as it was, keep a few things in mind. The Orioles were running with a depleted roster and were either on the road or against a playoff-contending team. So even though the losing streak was bad, the Orioles at best might have been 3-10 during that run.
That leads to a second point which amasses everything else. Nothing in one season can be worse than a number of seasons. As bad as 1988 was, as well as the terrible 2002 collapse, one season of bad play sometimes happens. Most franchises in history have something like that.
The answer is 12 losing seasons in a row. Keep in mind this is not just a playoff drought, these are losing seasons. Even when the Orioles were not making the playoffs in the mid-late 1980s and early 1990s, the team was at least putting together some winning seasons. Now the team has become completely irrelevant in the playoff race. Granted some franchises have been worse, but when a team that used to be a contending one for years now is the constant joke of the American League, that is by far the worst black mark in Orioles history. At the worst part about it is that it could get worse.
Bottom line, whatever happens in a game or one season is nothing compared to what happens in numerous seasons. The answer is clearly 12 losing seasons in a row.
(Photo credit: AP)