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Maybe LeBron Is Why The O’s Struggle?

I rarely talk NBA here, mostly because I don’t follow it. I am, however, a sports fan so naturally I couldn’t avoid the LeBron James drama. Now that it’s over (he’s going to the Heat if you missed it — good on you) here’s what I’ll say: in terms of sports that was one of the most disgusting spectacles I’ve ever witnessed (pun intended).

The idea that someone — anyone — would manipulate a full hour of national TV to announce that he’s decided to break the collective heart of an entire city is unbelievable. No class, no dignity, no shame. Handled so poorly that I’m almost at a loss for words. “Disgusting” doesn’t really feel strong enough. “Ugly” might be better.

Let us hope that LeBron James is not a sign of things to come. If behavior like his is the future then, well, god help us. Luckily, I don’t think it is. Kevin Durant proves as much. For that he should be celebrated with the same zeal employed to justifiably crucify James.

I’m happy to say I didn’t actually watch the special, but I’ll cop to flipping from the O’s game on 105.7 over to 1300 AM for about five minutes to hear the announcement. Weak, I know. To be fair, though, I spent those same minutes reading this article. Multitasking.

Now that I’m back to the O’s I find that, yep, they’re still struggling. Down 4-2 to the Rangers in the seventh. Damn it. Damn it all.

27 comments to Maybe LeBron Is Why The O’s Struggle?

  • neal s

    I should also point out that I don’t have any issue with James leaving Cleveland. That’s his right, of course. I think he’ll ultimately regret the decision but my real issue — the one that leads to words like “disgusting” and “ugly” — is the way he handled it.

    This should have been done quietly. It should have been a serious occasion, not a circus. He should have shown the city of Cleveland the respect they earned by loving him for seven years. The idea that, instead, he went out of his way to embarrass them on national TV is just…well, disgusting and ugly.

  • Dan H

    Where did you get that picture? And why is he crying? It’s hilarious.

  • neal s

    @ Dan H: I did a Google image search for “LeBron James crying” with the thought that something good would have to come up. Sure enough, there you go.

    I remembered how much he whined a few years ago in the playoffs against the Wizards Bullets and figured that a picture of him acting entitled and self-important might be a perfect way to illustrate this whole ridiculous circus.

    Not that crying in real life equals entitlement and self-importance. Not at all. This just happened to be the right circumstance.

  • neal s

    But what’s this? The O’s have one out and the bases loaded in the eighth, up 5-4. Well, well…

  • neal s

    Perhaps someone can enlighten me: why is Alfredo Simon our “closer”? What’s the point?

    He’s warming up right now with the O’s up by two and all I can think is “we’ll be lucky to escape with the win.” If we must have a “closer” (which, on a team like this, is weird) why isn’t it Hernandez?

  • neal s

    Less drama than I expected, thankfully. Orioles…in the WIN column.

    Always love that, no matter what else is going on.

  • Dan H

    Yeah, stole one there in Texas. Good win O’s.

    Well, I guess not so much “stole” as readily accepted the silver platter that it came on.

  • Dan H

    I’ll take them anyway they come tho. Lol. Not complaining in the least.

  • dan the man

    Simon’s been pretty good if you look at the numbers. I agree Hernandez should be the guy long-term, but they seem pretty interchangeable right now. I like their one-two punch regardless.

    Pie is awesome, but I can’t get over that fear of him hurting himself every time he… well, does anything. He’s fun as hell to watch though, no?

    The Dan Gilbert letter was amazing. Just blasted LeBron on the Cavs website in an open letter that resembled a WWF script. Unprofessional and totally awesome. The NBA is pretty much out of control.

    I’m pretty tired of Guthrie. Has the guy been able to pitch a shutout in the last 2 years? Seems like he never has a really outstanding game. Let the trades begin. Patterson DHing is silly. Bell needs to go back down for Tillman.

    Nice win, though!

  • Mike R

    @ dan the man:
    Yeah, Guts has the flattest fastball in the game I’m sure. His slider is good, but when it hangs, look out. He’s a 5th starter at best on any other team.

    I used to like Lebron, I used to defend him, I used to think he was better cause he actually plays on defense. Now I hope everything in Dan Gilberts letter comes true. I hope karma strikes him hard. If he were to suffer a season ending injury and never be the same guy, id laugh. Distugusting was probably the most appropriate word Neal. I hope he has bodyguards. He’s gonna need em if he ever sets foot in Ohio again. Which he will have to sometime.

  • Tomás

    I was hoping that when I saw the headline in my news feed – Lebron to Heat – that it actually meant he would be shot into the Sun. Oh well, so much for my dream and makind’s last hope against LBJ.

  • Greg

    LeBron to the Heat is disgusting. The Mussina comparison (although it was a little before I actually cared about the O’s and baseball so I really don’t remember it happening) is apt. The O’s earned Mussina’s departure though. I don’t follow basketball at all, but I don’t think Cleveland did anything to deserve what happened last night. It’s gotta be tough to live in a city where your three major sports teams are potentially terrible for their upcoming seasons.

    At least we have the Ravens. Thank god for the Ravens. Sweet Jesus Amen.

  • dan the man

    @ Greg:
    Yeah, without the Ravens, we would be Cleveland. They have no interesting sports teams right now and I kind of feel for them.

  • Andrew

    @ neal s:
    I could hug you for saying that. I like Simon enough (if he could find the strikezone I’d love him), but the idea of a closer on a terrible, terrible team is stupid, and putting someone who walks that many guys in as the closer is compounding the mistake. Especially in light of the fact that Jsaon Berken – our best reliever, how weird is that? – is handling all the real high pressure situations earlier in the game.

    I didn’t watch the game, or the Lebron thing. I watched Mad Men as promised (and my anti-spam word? draper, natch). I still can’t really believe the Orioles found a way to win last night. But I have two words for you: Felix Pie.

  • sci

    The Heat are now the Yankees of the NBA. And the actual Yankees now seem to be about to get Cliff Lee, making their rotation Sabathia, Burnett, Pettite, Hughes, and Lee, which is just retarded. Pro sports can make you cynical sometimes…

  • Mike R

    The Yankees are going to get Cliff Lee? God damn! When is baseball going to do something about this. Wouldn’t baseball be more exciting with some parody? Every other sport has a salary cap keeping the talent somewhat spread around.

    In that Will Leitch piece he talks about “being a sports fan has never felt so stupid”. I feel like being a baseball fan is so stupid sometimes. It’s the Yankees world and we’re all just here cause thay have to play somebody right?

  • Mike R

    @ Mike R:
    or is it parity?

  • neal s

    @ Mike R: It’s parity, but I think we all knew what you meant.

    At the same time, baseball would indeed be more exciting with some parody. So it’s a win either way.

  • Mike R wrote:

    Wouldn’t baseball be more exciting with some parody?


  • Mike R

    and wouldn’t you know it, the Rangers swoop right in and beat the Yanks to the punch. I wouldn’t have given up Justin Smoak though. That would be like the Orioles giving up Wieters.

    I usually like to read other teams blogs when big deals go down like this, and Rangers fans for the most part are happy with the trade. Most are saying that Chris Davis will be fine at first. I don’t follow the Rangers, but isn’t there a reason hes in the minors.? I think he is like our Reimold. Hot last year, WTF happend this year.

    And the Orioles are at it again, trying to make a 4 run comeback. Closed it to 4-2 in the 5th with 2 away. Wieters tripped rounding 2nd and hurt himself. Left the field right away, maybe a hammy. Oh-no.

  • dan the man

    I turned that game off in the 8th inning.

    I am an asshat, clearly.

    My boy Corey is having himself a year, man. Another chance at baseball life and damnit if he isn’t making it count. First career grand slam and he smiled all the way around the bases. Good stuff.

    Sucks about Pie, who I am forcing myself to not get excited about ever since he hurts himself SO MUCH. He’s got that weird lanky body type that just doesn’t appear to be very durable. Hope he makes it back soon. Wieters, too.

  • Mike R

    Arrrgh. I fell asleep during the bottom of the 8th. What a pleasant suprise Jake Fox has been. Get him soMe more playing time Forget Lugo.

  • dan the man

    He’s in the lineup today at 1B. Dude sort of reminds me of a younger Wigginton. He swings hard as crap, isn’t great at any one position, seems like he plays hard, and doesn’t take a lot of pitches. I think Wigginton is the first player to get flipped before the deadline and Fox will be solid as his replacement.

    Think a Showalter hiring will be announced during the ASB? Tough call, but I’ll go out on a line and say Andy makes the move.

  • dan the man

    How about Chris Tillman? I wanted him to show us a big game to back up that prospect status and Andrew is grinning now, I’m sure. Dude was dealing, and he was using that cutter.

    How about this interesting wrinkle? http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/blog/

    I love stuff like this – felt like he didn’t belong, went about taking care of his business, comes back up with a chip on his shoulder and gets it done in front of his teammates. Love it.

    The Orioles are in full-on “box of chocolates” mode. Sure, they might get swept now and then and have some ugly games. But they aren’t pulling any 2-16 stretches and you kind of never know what you’re going to get. The lineup is a crap-shoot any given night and so is the rotation since it’s full of young, talented, but not-quite-there-yet pitchers.

  • sci

    Tillman was awesome. Great performance against a great hitting team. He appears to have conquered whatever mental block was there. Hoping this is but a sign of things to come.