ESPN recently placed the Baltimore Orioles on the short list of the worst teams in professional sports.
They are off to a surprising 8-7 start, but Tuesday against the Indians, they looked worthy of the unenviable collection of teams.
Baltimore starter Bruce Chen apparently didn't get the memo that soft-tossing lefties are supposed to give the Indians fits. He was rocked. Not just rocked. Rocked hard. Rocked Motley Crue hard, like four-day benders, STD-infected groupies and used heroin needles hard. Chen gave up eight runs and eight hits in four innings.
The bullpen wasn't much better, allowing another seven runs in the ensuing five innings.
All told, the Indians banged out 20 hits and 15 runs, while the Orioles managed one shutout-averting run late in the game.
From the standpoint of an Indians fan, it was fun to watch. But from the standpoint of a baseball fan, I couldn't help but lament how far the Orioles have fallen.
The O's are above .500 now, but don't expect that to continue. This team has been in disarray for quite some time. A few spending binges in the mid-90s brought a couple of ALCS appearances, but the sad fact remains that the Orioles haven't produced a star-caliber prospect since the the Reagan administration.
And with one of the worst farm systems in baseball, the odds of a savior stepping up anytime soon is not good.
All this is happened as the Washington Nationals begin to encroach on Baltimore's fan base. A team that actually has a farm system Barring another short-term spending binge, there is little the Orioles will be able to do to prevent themselves from losing fans to Washington. The organization is wrecked to the point that it could take years, possibly a decade or more, to correct.