Prior to the start of the ALDS tonight, I feel like I need to apologize to Orioles fans everywhere.
As a sports fan, I think I am a bad luck charm. Take for example hockey. As a resident of Maryland, I am a Washington Capitals fan. They are generally a good team (although missing the playoffs last year). But my favorite Caps player is defenseman Mike Green who has been less than stellar as of late. In fact some Caps fans – my friends and family included – wanted him gone.
But this blog isn’t about hockey, and this apology is to Orioles fans. Acting as a bad luck charm to sports teams and players isn’t baseball exclusive for me.
If you know me, you know my favorite team are the Yankees – who haven’t been to the postseason the last two seasons. My favorite player (for a really, really long time – in my defense) is Alex Rodriguez. I don’t even have to explain that. So with A-Rod out for the season due to stupidity, my new favorite Yankee (for 2014) became Jacoby Ellsbury – who had a few minor injuries during the year, but then missed the last week (and a series against the Red Sox – his former team) due to injury. Nevermind that Brett Gardner is another one of my favorites who also missed the end of the season due to injury too!
And the bad luck isn’t even just for Yankees! Being in Maryland I have seen a lot of Orioles games (now I’m getting to the apology!) and have really become a fan of your team. Even as division opponents for the Yankees, there are many players on your team I’ve become a fan of – but no one more than Manny Machado. It was great to have him back from his 2013 season ending knew surgery. I sat in the left field stands at Camden Yards, wearing my orange Machado shirt, one Saturday night in early August. About a week later, he collapsed at the plate and went on to have yet another season ending knee surgery (on the other knee).
I’m afraid to even mention who my #2 favorite Oriole is because if I did, he might fall off a bridge or something ridiculous.
So, Orioles fans, the bad news is that I’m cheering for you in the playoffs. The good news is I will not be actually attending any of the games, so the chances of Camden Yards collapsing are probably much less if I’m not there. I really do admire your team and how hard you’ve worked this year, but I understand if you blame me if things don’t go well.
If it’s any consolation, my luck might also work in reverse. I *hated* Kelly Johnson when he played in New York. Somewhere between New York, then Boston, and now Baltimore, he learned to play baseball reasonably well. If my hating him made him good, then you’re welcome.
Except for that bottom of the 9th double against David Robertson on September 14. I was there for Derek Jeter’s last game in Baltimore and I will likely never forgive that hit.