Friday, August 15, 2014

Who's Really 8 Games Back?

In dark and putrid days like these, when the once-great Yankees look like a so-so AAAA team, when Duque has lost all hope and Alphonso seems more like the Oracle of Delphi every day, the best we can do is grab at very slender straws to maintain our sanity. Even if that means suspending our belief in reality just a little tiny bit and letting our hardwired-for-denial brains run amok.

In other words, I'm really reaching here. 

In 1901 and '02, the Baltimore Orioles stunk up the league. They finished '02 in last place, 34 games back, rounding out the bottom half of the league along with the Tigers, the Senators and the Cleveland Bronchos (yep, with an 'h'). By midseason the team was heavily in debt. By the offseason, they were gone.

The AL sold the Orioles to Frank J. Farrell and William S. Devery for $18,000. The boys promptly moved the franchise to New York and the Highlanders were born. (That's Jumpin' Jack Chesbro up above, the Highlanders' great pitcher.)

You probably remember that this summer the sages at Baseball Reference decided that the 1901-2 Orioles were not actually the 1903 Highlanders, and those woeful Birds were erased from Yankees team history. The excuse being that "of the 39 players who appeared for Baltimore in 1902, only five appeared for New York in 1903."

I beg to differ. In my mind, the Highlanders were the old transplanted O's. And never more so than this year. 

You see, the Orange tweeters may think they're in first place and cleaning our clock...but in reality, it's the Orioles who are 8 games back--they just happen to be the Orioles from an alternate timeline.

In fact, it might be a good official policy in years of pain and suffering to always remember that, during those seasons, IT'S NOT REALLY US OUT THERE. It's the cellar-dwellers from Baltimore overlapping the time-space continuum and inhabiting our uniforms. The Yankees are winners. Champs. These guys? No way.

When we are great, we are the New York Yankees.

When we suck, we are the time-warping, bumbling birds from Baltimore.

And keep this in mind. Babe Ruth was from Baltimore--and started his career with a minor league contract from the 1914 Orioles. 

As any police detective or prosecutor on any TV show will tell you, there are no such things as coincidences.


KD said...

Is el duque sharing his Scientific American back issues?

John M said...

I think it was the mushrooms I had at lunch. Didn't know they were 'those' kind of mushrooms...

Anonymous said...

Are you two gay lovers?

KD said...

I'm blushing!