Everybody likes the stars in Birdland, as every team’s fans like their team’s stars. When I was growing up, you didn’t need to have a reason to like Cal Ripken Jr. or Brady Anderson or Mike Mussina. They were the best Orioles. Of course you liked them. Today it’s Adam Jones and Manny Machado, among others, carrying on that popularity.
It’s great to have all of them as part of the franchise’s history. But that’s not who I’m interested in today. It’s time to find out about some less-heralded players, perhaps even some maligned players. I want to know who is
Your favorite Oriole who nobody else likes
Maybe when you were a kid, you got an autograph from a reliever who everyone else only knew for blowing games. Maybe somebody hit an unlikely walkoff homer on your birthday. Maybe your friends and family, to this day, tease you for being positive about this guy.
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You probably remember Brandon Fahey, if at all, as part of the Five-Headed Monster at the shortstop position in 2008. Fahey finished an MLB career that saw parts of three big league seasons with a total of -0.7 WAR and a .586 OPS. In the aggregate, the Orioles would have been better off without him.
But Fahey, also, has the same height and weight listed on his Baseball Reference page as I do on my driver’s license. Whenever he batted, I was keenly aware that he was just some scrawny, nerdy-looking dude holding a baseball bat while wearing a loose and ill-fitting uniform.
And so I rooted for him, even though I knew he was bad, because I came to feel like his every MLB success (rare as it was) counted as a success for every kid who got picked last in gym class.
Of course he wasn’t good, but he hit two big league homers and nobody can ever take that away from him.