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“Birds Bobble a Pennant” (Oct. 1960)

unfortunately disheartened Baltimore OriolesSo it looks like we’re going to get a Yankees-Phillies World Series. I don’t have to pick one, right? Right. Because I can’t. While I don’t feel about the Phillies the way I feel about the Sox or Yanks (it’s not even close), I definitely don’t have any love for them. Philly is where the “Northeast Corridor” begins. It’s not a bad place but it’s a hell of a lot closer to New York and Boston than it is to Baltimore*.

At best I enjoy a tenuous peace with all things Philly. No way I’m going to start rooting for them. I could tune in to root against the Yankees — and I might, once or twice — but that sounds more fun than it is. Most likely I’ll sit this one out.

It got me thinking about late-season disappointments, though, and so I dug up this painful-but-interesting account of a brutal October series for the Orioles in Yankee Stadium.

“The Baltimore Orioles, whose talented youngsters have been performing like old pros all season, took their brashness into Yankee Stadium determined to pin down the American League Pennant…”

Read on from there and it gets ugly, but that first line sounds just about right.

Totally unrelated to sports but something I think most of you will enjoy: an essay by Roger Ebert, in which he discusses the literary and cultural scene at a legendary Chicago bar. It’s a great piece — I had no idea Ebert could write that well.

*obviously, I don’t mean this literally in terms of distance.

14 comments to “Birds Bobble a Pennant” (Oct. 1960)

  • Andrew

    The “Northeast Corridor” literally covers the entire BosWash Megalopolis, which is one of the most populated areas in the world (people per square mile or something like that), so ummm it includes Baltimore. Sorry.

  • neal s

    Balt/DC/Richmond is a separate entity, all of it technically part of the South. This is the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast starts (roughly) at Philly.

    But, really, it hardly matters. The point is not a geographic distinction but rather a cultural one.

  • Andrew

    @neal s – Fair enough. But I don’t get it. I like Philly quite a bit and had a really terrific time when I went out to see the Phillies play the Mets and the Orioles these past two summers. I guess I just don’t understand. Maybe Rochester (The Land of the Perpetual Overcast) is getting to me. Oh well.

  • neal s

    Well the one time I went to an O’s-Phillies interleague game here at Camden Yards the out-of-town fans were pretty much just as bad as Yankee/Sox fans. The level of distaste I feel for Philly sports is nowhere near on par with NY and Boston, but it’s there. Maybe I’m alone in that?

  • neal s

    Update: looks like I had the wrong link in there for the Orioles story. Should be fixed now.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    after days of reflection the redskins and their fans do indeed have it worse than anyone. i cannot see a way to rectify things down there either. it reminds me SO MUCH of the orioles five years ago it’s sickening.

    i even heard the word “apathy” being thrown around on sports talk 980 this morning which is crazy. as in, the fanbase is getting to that dangerous place (i was in) where it’s hard to see any end in sight with an owner who no one believes will change and an organization that has fewer and fewer professionals willing to put up with it.

    don’t get me wrong – there will always be a huge number of diehard redskins fans. but the parallels to the orioles are starting to get ridiculous.

    i started to type out the orioles managers, general managers, and free agents over the last decade and then compared them with the skins’ coaches, gm’s, and players the last ten years and it’s fucking diabolical.

    yes the skins made the playoffs in that time but when you look at the big picture and particularly the overall pattern and philosophy it’s fucked up man.

    and we all know it only gets worse when no one wants to coach or play in your town.

    snyder needs a huge cup of shut the fuck up.

  • sci

    Great point about the parallels here! The only way to fix the Skins is for Snyder to hire a real GM (not the idiot Cerrato) and then totally step back in the way that Angelos now seems to have done with MacPhail. But really, Snyder is even worse than Angelos ever was. He thinks he is football smart and it’s just pathetic. I cannot see any scenario where he does not have his hands all over the team. No real GM or coach will work under those conditions, so the Skins are left with the Cerratos and Zorns of the world. It’s vastly depressing for Skins fans, so Ravens fans, rejoice that your franchise is run the right way. (It really is a model franchise in a lot of ways.)

  • dan the man

    We are Mid-Atlantic. South of the Mason-Dixon Line. Philly is annoying, but not much else. I like their manager, he seems cuddly. Ryan Howard strikes out a lot. The Ghost of Pedro is back somehow. Victorino is “scrappy”, which is annoying. Jayson Werth was one that got away.

    YANKEES LOSE!

  • Andrew

    @dan the man – And if the Yankees lose game 6, Philly gets a huge edge in the Series regardless of their opponent.

    Anyway, it’s fine that you guys don’t like Philly much. I just can’t share that feeling with you for whatever reason. But don’t get me wrong: I am terrifically bored with the postseason. It’s a combination of these weird off-days and teams that I’ve seen win and lose a million times already, and the bad umpiring. It’s all sort of numbed me down a lot, and I almost couldn’t care less what happens next (since the birds aren’t in it at all*).

    *Hairston doesn’t count.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    But really, Snyder is even worse than Angelos ever was. He thinks he is football smart and it’s just pathetic.

    dude angelos wrote the BOOK on owners thinking they know about their game than anyone else around. maybe steinbrenner, but he got kicked out of baseball long enough for the yankees to establish their fake fucking dynasty (maier).

    also there is zero way of knowing that angelos isn’t still that way. i wouldn’t call that organization “high access” and many people i talk to who have some contact think nothing’s changed.

    also someone very close to me knows angelos personally and says his personality would never allow not being hands-on.

    i will say that snyder is much more extroverted about it which is particularly annoying though.

  • neal s

    Well, I have some contact and I can tell you that in my experience it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. Not even close, at least in terms of the folks I’ve dealt with. But (a) I didn’t have contact until after MacPhail arrived, and (b) I’ve never had any contact with anyone actually named Angelos. So take that for what it’s worth.

    On the broader question I think we can all agree that Angelos deserves a share of the blame for the woes of the Orioles, but Snyder is way worse. You’re talking about a guy who goes into the locker room and intimidates his coaches and players. A guy who heads an organization that sued a 60-something year old woman who had season tickets for years. A guy who is notorious for squeezing every last penny out of the fans and placing profits ahead of performance. He’s an absolute disaster in every sense of the word. I would take Angelos over him any day.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    still a shit sandwich!

  • I can just sense that the Angles will win this series, they aren’t going to let Adenhart down.

  • sci

    To follow up on the Skins/Orioles discussion, homemade signs of any kind have now apparently been banned from Skins games. Very big brother and totally typical of Snyder. Even Angelos would never do something like that. There is no sadder franchise in sports at the moment than the Skins.