A Royal Pain

As a twenty-year-old Orioles fan, I've grown accustomed to losing. Despite these past four years, far too many memories of meltdowns and losing streaks will pop into my head. This past football season a depressed Cleveland Browns fan compiled a list of all the losses in team history in order of pain and suffering. Now, I'm not one for lists and the Orioles certainly don't match the Browns on the snake-bite radar. Yet, as I run through the tears of my childhood I always stumble upon heartbreaking losses. Whether, it's watching David Ortiz slowly waddle around the bases in the bottom of the ninth, or begging for mercy as the Rangers pummel the O's for 30 runs. Or even worse, €”and I still don't know how this was possible, watching Miguel Cabrera hit an intentional ball into right center to sink the Orioles as Jim Palmer slowly commentated in agony. I've seen the nine circles of hell and then some...

However, I must admit, those teams I just mentioned were no scrubs. There is no shame in losing to Miguel Cabrera, Josh Hamilton and Big Papi. At least I was able to prepare myself for what was to come; I knew the odds were stacked against the Birds. Despite it all, I would wait anxiously though, because I knew that at some point Kansas City would come to town. Beating the Royals seemed realistic. Sandwiched in between the Sox and Yanks was an orange Christmas. Brian Roberts would smack a few doubles, Melvin would hit a homer and maybe one of our pitchers would even go the distance. All of a sudden, those other days are distant memories.

I hate losing to the Royals; maybe it's jealousy? (It definitely is.) What happened in that 2014 ALCS is beyond me. I understand the Orioles were missing major pieces such as Chris Davis and Manny Machado; but it still felt like that year was ours for the taking. First off, the Royals had a +27 run differential. That ranked seventh in the AL that season. The Orioles far exceeded this number. Shouldn't Cinderella's charm eventually wear off?

Next, it may be the way that the Royals got there. This is your fault Oakland; you know what you did! If not for some crazy deals then maybe the Athletics would have beaten the Royals and saved me the trouble of the following paragraphs. Yet, I digress. Games 1 and 2 brought back ghosts from games past. Watching O'Day serve up dingers was like journeying back to my first years in the Dugout Club. The O'Day that pitched that night was an imposter. The likes of Kevin Gregg and Jorge Julio rose from the ashes to bring me back to my nightmares, not once but twice.

The Orioles and Royals clash of styles also frustrated me to no end. Watching the Royals play baseball is infuriating. The method of moving runners over, stealing and bunting has never resonated for me. The Orioles Eutaw Street power has always been my fancy. Losing low scoring games in extra innings is always frustrating. Watching Game Four felt like a Georgetown-Princeton grinder as it relates to style. Death by 1,000 cuts has never been more real.

To some extent, I feel bad disliking this team. There are some definitive similarities. Two managers that have been around the game a while and players like Jeremy Guthrie have bounced between both teams. Each team plays in a small market and personalities such as Lorenzo Cain and Adam Jones always keep things interesting. Veterans such as Brady Anderson and George Brett remain integral parts of each squad. I shouldn't hate this team but I cannot help myself. Upon reflection, the unfair distain comes from these similarities. The back-to-back pennants feel like they should have been ours. Losing a bullpen, strength vs. strength battle stings. What once was a guaranteed series victory amongst the minefield of the AL East is now an opponent of enormous stature. The season is fast approaching and it's time to put away the hate; because another season is approaching. ‘Hey Royals!' listen to Hitchcock for warning: "The bird war, the bird attack, plague - call it what you like. They're amassing out there someplace and they'll be back. You can count on it." Go O's!

FanPosts are user-created content and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of Camden Chat or SB Nation. They might, though.