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September 19, 2011

Orioles finally embrace spoiler role

Remember how Buck Showalter and his players poo-pooed the notion that they were motivated to beat the Tampa Bay Rays by the desire to play a role in determining who wins the American League playoff spots?

They all insisted that they were just trying to finish strong and were more concerned about themselves than playing the spoiler to the Rays or anybody else. But there has to be a better explanation for how they have risen up to win four of the six games against the contending Rays and Los Angeles Angels.

Maybe it's because they really do want to play the spoiler -- especially this week against the Boston Red Sox. Reserve catcher Craig Tatum let the cat out of the bag after Sunday's 11-2 loss to the Angels.

"It would be nice to go up there [to Boston] and ruin their season,'' Tatum said. "If we can do what we did to the Angels, it would be nice."

They won't have to wait long for their chance. They play a day-night doubleheader today at Fenway Park to kick off a four-game series that figures to be crucial to the Red Sox' wild-card run.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 12:48 AM | | Comments (5)


If Buck wants to be a spoiler he better use a real lineup. Today he was relying on the 2, 3, 4, 5, slots to win the game. at the bottom of the order...if Andino get on the "murderer's row" of Hudson, Tatum, and Angle came up to break the game open...Tatum's the slugger at .203. No reason why Reimold wasn't in left....Adams at second, and Andino at third, with Weiters behind the plate...with two weeks left in the season Weiters can play. That lineup didn't have a chance and they proved it. By the way Pete, my son was wondering why no Hawaiian shirt...fall fashion???

I thought we cut Jake Fox?? Looks like the orioles may dodge the 100 loss bullet unless they lose every game from here on out. We have 7 games vs the sox and 3 vs the tigers. I think we can beat weiland bedard and penny but who knows the 2011 orioles are capable of of losing at any time. Thats how they were built.

I think they'd rather be playing the role of playoff contender right now. If there was any concern about putting O's fans in the stands it would be a bigger issue.

Favorable pitching matchup in game 1 for us (as far as these things go). It would be great to rock their young dude and get this series started off right.

That's disturbing news about Reynolds. I hope they're just being extra cautious.

Wake me up when September ends. It's pretty tough for the Oriole fan base(Now THAT"S an oxymoron)to develop much enthusiasm when the team is out of it before the All Star game every year. Next year, as usual, the Orioles will go into the season hoping that everything goes right, in order to be mildly competitive. It never does and they never are.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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