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It's hard out there for an Orioles fan

You know what scares the hell out of me? If you live a normal life, length-wise, chances are at least OK that you're going to see your team win the World Series. What if my team was 1983, when I was one year old?

If you ask me, baseball fandom is a love affair unlike any other sport. There are 162 games. No once a week, no 81 or 82, no chance to really catch your breath like you can with other sports. Even basketball and hockey have a bunch of days off. If you're a diehard fan of a bad baseball team, it is a constant bludgeoning for six months. The days your team isn't playing start to look like relief, and even then, if you're like me, you kinda wish you had a game to watch.

The Orioles have really tested us since '97 was over, let's be serious. And yet we're still here. Yeah, those numbers in the park are going down, but there are still a lot of us.

And I've complained plenty lately about watching this team, and it's justified. It's been a wreck lately, and it's just more on top of the last near decade of utter futility.

But I love this goddamn team all the same. I'm pretty certain we all do. Things like Brandon Fahey running his heart out on another routine chopper to second base, or Chris Gomez taking whatever position he has to that day, or Miguel Tejada and Melvin Mora basically trying to WILL this team into winning right now.

I mean, I don't want Gomez out there any more than the rest of you do. I don't want to see Jeff Conine and Kevin Millar pop out, and I'm sure you don't either. The pitching offends me as much as anyone, probably more than a lot of people.

And still I watch these games, and I get excited when the Orioles are sure to let me down trying to rally against the Tigers for the second straight day. I put my cap on, I shout encouragement that nobody but me and maybe my neighbor can hear, my foot taps uncontrollably on a 3-2 count with runners on and Nick Markakis up at the plate.

I know they're going to lose more than they win. I know it. And yet every time some powerhouse team comes knocking at our door, I sit here and think we're going to pull the thing open and start slapping people around.

I have no faith in this franchise as long as Angelos is at the helm, no matter who the GM/s is/are, or who the manager is, or anything else. And I still watch every game I can. Why?

Because I'm a damn fool, otherwise known as an Orioles fan. But, I mean, aren't those days we win awesome? We'll turn it around after that next one. I see some signs of life. So-and-so is about to get off the schneid. We're ready to get on a roll.

You can't help it, really. It's natural. The pessimism is natural, too, of course, but we don't tune in because we know we'll lose, we tune in because we might win.

Damn Orioles are going to drive me insane.