Heath Bintliff: Losing is Birdland

The Orioles are all but assured of a losing record for the 14th straight season. But it’s even worse than that. The Orioles are likely not to reach the 70 win plateau for the fifth straight season. That’s really bad and it’s pretty hard to do. How hard?

Here is the short list of teams who have won less than 70 games for five or more straight seasons since the advent of the 162-game schedule in 1961.

New York Mets        6  1962-1967*
San Diego Padres     6  1969-1974*
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6  1998-2003*
Pittsburgh Pirates   6  2005-2010
Seattle Mariners     5  1977-1981*

* Denotes an expansion club

As you can see, four of these five teams were expansion clubs. This Baltimore club is likely to become just the second non-expansion team to fail to win 70 games in five or more consecutive seasons in the last 50 years. They would have to go 25-23 the rest of the way to avoid this dubious status. Does anybody see this team playing .500 ball for the rest of the season?

When I would hear fans moan about how bad a particular season was to endure over the past 14 seasons, I would usually sneer a bit and reply with, “I lived through 1988. I’ll live through this.”

But we Oriole fans are living through not only the worst stretch of losing in Oriole history but one of the worst stretches of losing from any team in baseball over the last 50 years.

All of this is made more frustrating by some of the moves made this offseason by the club. Signing aging veterans was supposed to take this club to respectability. But in reality, the club has never been worse in terms of wins and losses.

It may be time to blow it all up Oriole fans. The step back this team took this season has sunk any chance of Prince Fielder considering Baltimore in the free agent market. In fact, there is little chance that the O’s could attract any kind of substantial talent through free agency.

Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Jeremy Guthrie, Luke Scott, Mark Reynolds, any of the relievers and maybe even J.J. Hardy need to be on the trading block this offseason. I mean, when you can’t top 70 wins for five straight seasons, it’s probably time to play kids and anyone you can sign off the street.

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