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Losing Wasn’t More Fun, But It Was a Little Easier

old school baltimore orioles happy bird logoI was thinking about the ‘ol Loss Column today, and the fact that I have been so lax in posting, and I found myself asking a question: were things better when the Orioles sucked?

Not the baseball, of course. And not the culture surrounding it here in Baltimore. But talking about both definitely seemed a little easier.

It’s a strange situation here as I marvel at how the O’s have turned a corner. I still have to check myself sometimes and remember that they made the fucking playoffs last year. Won their way in fair and square. But, see, this site was born of losing. It’s right there in the title. It was a response to the fact that, at the time, not a lot of people were talking about the Orioles. When they were talking they were mainly complaining. I did my share of that at first but as the site matured it took on an identity of its own as an antidote to all of the whining and snark you could find everywhere else. It was a lovely niche.

So if I’m being honest now, and I have to be, I wonder if that niche still exists.

One of the barometers of a post here has always been that I didn’t want to just offer what you could already get somewhere else. That’s a lot harder to do now that they’re winning. I mean, do you need me to tell you what an amazing year Chris Davis is having? How awesome it is to have Manny Machado in black & orange? I doubt it.

It is this dynamic — more so than my new (well, not really “new” anymore) job or my general busy-ness — that frustrates me. What can I add?

If the tone of this post comes across with a ring of resignation I don’t mean it to. I’m not giving up, at least not yet. But I am wondering how to reconfigure things.

Any ideas?

In the meantime, how about Chris Ray reinventing himself as a brewmaster?

5 comments to Losing Wasn’t More Fun, But It Was a Little Easier

  • dan the man

    The Win Column?

    Some of the conversation has certainly changed. It’s “how do we make sure we’re set up for a playoff push”, “how does this Orioles player’s awesome year stack up against other awesome players”, “if we don’t make the playoffs, are we going to regret the offseason”, etc. We’re in Win Now mode, baby. The dream. FINALLY. And amazingly, considering we almost hired Bobby Valentine and literally no one wanted to be our GM. That was the lowest of low points – what a turn-around it’s been.

    TLC could go with a full on celebratory tone and I’m not sure any of us would mind. Neal could start posting silly gifs after big wins and we’d probably be all about it. We did our time. I think TLC readers want to celebrate. We stayed strong through the rough times, vowed that Pain Don’t Hurt, picked apart the issues without caving in to lame pitchfork rattling, and damnit there’s no shame in enjoying this even if it comes at the expense of traditional TLC-like topics. In my opinion, anyway.

    The lack of big, juicy, philosophical topics to latch onto is certainly an interesting dilemma in Win Land. It’s an adjustment, to say the least. Gone are the thread categories: “an epic problem”, “disgust”, and “deep frustration”. Perhaps it’s time for some new categories, though: “the Promised Land”, “jubilation”, and “Orioles Magic”.

    But dig a little deeper and it’s not like the O’s don’t have their issues. There’s still plenty to talk about. Consider the following:

    -Arrieta, Britton, Matusz, and yes, Bundy & Gausman (so far) have all failed to make an impact as starting pitchers. I think we expect pitching development under Duquette to improve, but until we see results, the Orioles have still failed to produce a quality farm system SP other than Chris Tillman. This is a problem for an organization that doesn’t pay for FA pitching.

    -Can the O’s do what it takes to Win Now? Machado vaulted them into the playoffs bolstered by McLouth and the Saunders trade. But history suggests there’s no frontline starter coming here via a trade. It’s literally almost never happened in Baltimore – what happens this year when the O’s face the amazing prospect of not only going to the playoffs two years in a row, but hoping to make it out of the divisional round? Does this team have the farm system (easy to forget it’s still thin) and Angelos approval to take on big salary in a trade?

    -Can this team lock up Wieters, Davis, and Machado, while signing Markakis to a more team-friendly deal?

    -This is Brian Roberts’ final year as an Oriole, folks.

    Anyway.. the original niche may be taking a back seat (for now, at least), but it was all done hoping we could someday hear less of that sad Joe Angel call. It was so we could get away from the ZOMG and just talk baseball (and other sports) without freaking the fuck out about the same issues we were tired of hearing.

    It’s time to decide if TLC wants to change its tone and direction to suit this new (mini)era of winning Orioles baseball somehow. In its own TLC way. For me, I consume baseball daily and it’s a little sad coming here and looking at the post date and wondering why we aren’t having more fun with this.

    Ideas/Thoughts:
    One idea I feel strongly about is moving to a live commenting system. I know this isn’t TLC-like, and I have no idea if it’s possible on WordPress. But I would enjoy nothing more than coming here in an Open Game Thread like we used to and firing off comments during the game, but with greater frequency and ease. Easier linking and image posting functions would be great. Hell, I think we’d settle for a Series Thread (ahem: big upcoming Sox series) just to have a place to foster conversation about The Game.

    0 comments on your “change” post was telling, I think, if I can #realtalk for a second. I enjoyed reading that, but frankly uh… Birdland is in full on win-mode, baby! We want to talk about the baseball season and the football off-season (oh yeah, Super Bowl).

    I’m not saying TLC should abandon its roots, but I’m saying it’s easy to forget that its roots also included just having fun in some open threads. Enjoying the wins. If that means for now this is a less original blog, so be it (IMO), but I’d also argue we’ll make it original in the comments. Just have to get those comments back first!

    But seriously.. We made it, y’all. O’s!

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    good post dtm. the o’s look like a team about to take the reigns ya’ll. hoping freddy pitches really “sweaty” today haha.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    there aren’t enough WHAT THE FUCKS for that ending.

  • UK Oriole

    “But I am wondering how to reconfigure things”…how about changing the name to “the win column” but I guess that would be tempting fate.

  • dan the man

    3/4 from the Sox is great. They used to come in here and pistol whip us in front of their own fans. Not so much the last two years, eh?

    10 games over .500 with a rotation that still has a lot of room to improve.

    How about that Koji trade? Davis on pace for like 50 bombs and Tommy’s throwing 98 mph gas out of the pen in a crucial set up role.

    Arrieta tonight, though. Hurry back, Wei Yin…