Angst, it’s pretty popular these days and you probably noticed all the conflicted emotions floating around Camden Chat. People are unsure of how to deal with our new found winning ways. Look around you and you see some awkward swagger, some hesitant optimism, and plenty of denial and pessimism. But whatever you feel inside, there is one fact about the Orioles, one fact which all the angst, denial, and pessimism in the world can’t change; The Baltimore Orioles are in first place in the AL East. As a result, Orioles fans need to stop rooting against the Red Sox, at least for now.
No more rooting against the Red Sox. No more rooting for the Rays. In the past, the Rays were kindred spirits, fellow bottom dwellers. At some point they made it out of the bad part of town and got a nice penthouse suite in an area of prime real estate. We were proud of them because they suffered through what we had been through, and they made it out of the bottom and rose up to challenge the snobbish Yankees and Red Sox. We looked at what they had done and thought; some day we can do that. And last year we fought with them to knock the vaunted Red Sox out of the playoffs. But the thing about having a bad team is that you gain pleasure from the failures of one team but not the success of your own team.
But this isn’t last year, and while we may just be renting, the Orioles have moved into that penthouse suite, the Rays are trying to kick us out, and the Red Sox are bottoming out at some stash house across town. It’s time to get rid of the loser mentality and start looking out for our own interests. Rooting against the 5th place team when they are playing the second place team is just silly. Of course, whenever an AL East team is playing a non- AL East team, you should root for the non-AL East team. I’m not saying that we should be actively rooting for the Red Sox when they play the Yankees or the Rays, but I am saying that the Rays are no longer our friends and we should root against them at all times.
Last year, we were content to sit back and watch as the Red Sox exploded while our team languished in the basement of the AL East. But this year we are almost 25% through the year and the Red Sox are a last place team and we are a first place team. And when the second place team plays the last place team, we root against the second place team. And while a Red Sox collapse is a beautiful thing, an Orioles first place finish would be beautiful beyond compare. Let's embrace the nice things we have, the new suite with the marble counters and gold plated bathtub. So as hard as it is to say... GO TEAM IN 5th PLACE OF THE AL EAST (whoever that maybe be at any given time).