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GameThread: Orioles (60-95) @ Rays (79-76), 7:08 PM

Nick and I are going to weather the stormy season together.
Nick and I are going to weather the stormy season together.

2009 - Mark Hendrickson 5-5 4.37 1.47 55 29

2009 - Jeff Niemann 12-6 3.81 1.32 117 55

Mark Hendrickson has made two starts for the O's since replacing Brian Matusz in the rotation. We all dread seeing him out there but he's actually done a decent job so far. Good for him. I don't know what else to say about the game. I hope they win.

So this past Saturday I was hanging out with a few friends, two of whom were down from New Jersey for the weekend. Every now and then when we're hanging out we try and convince each other to move so that we can hang out all the time. Julia and Anthony try to get me to move to New Jersey and I try to get them to move to Maryland. It never works, obviously.

Saturday was one of the nights when we had that conversation, and this time it was partially fueled by beer. The bartender chimed in a few reasons that Baltimore is a cool place to live, one of which is Camden Yards. Julia says, "Camden Yards is nice," and Anthony gets this pained look on his face like he doesn't want to say what he's thinking and finally says, "But....the Orioles never win." And Julia says, "But they have Nick Markakis. He's so good looking." I add, "He's also good at baseball." Anthony says, "But he never wins. Maybe the solution is that you move to New Jersey and Nick Markakis comes and plays for the Yankees, then we all win." (please note that Anthony, born in 1985, doesn't actually remember the Orioles ever winning.)

After I stopped myself from vomiting over the idea of Nick Markakis being a Yankee, I said something I never would have said if I hadn't been drinking. I said, "Yeah, Nick Markakis has never won, but he will. In a few years it'll be the Orioles in the playoffs and the Yankees will be sitting at home." And so Anthony and Julia did something they wouldn't have done if they hadn't been drinking: they laughed hysterically. I mean, they laughed for WAY too long, especially considering it wasn't funny.

I don't know if the Orioles will be good in a few years, let alone if they'll be good enough to be in the playoffs. But I have hope that they will, and it's hope based on facts, not blind optimism. Even with this awful ending to the season, I still feel that way.

I know that story has nothing to do with tonight's game, but it seems more worthwhile than trying to think up something interesting to say about this meaningless game.