My biggest fear today is I’ll plop down on my couch, grab the remote, turn on MASN for the Orioles-Indians game and realize it’s being played at Camden Yards. Or I’ll order a dirty martini, ask the bartender to turn on the Orioles-Indians game and ... see above.
The Orioles haven’t been home since June 30, and they turned their fans into road worriers with that 1-9 trip that dropped them 16 games below .500.
So why do we still care about the 2011 season?
Well, it doesn’t end this weekend. There are plenty of games left to play, plenty of opportunities to make that run at .500. You’re a fan. You can’t turn away, no matter how hard you try and how much your heart aches.
(By the way, I never considered a career in sales. I’m guessing that I made the right choice.)
I want to know whether the young starters who are such an integral part of this rebuilding plan can rebound from an extremely disappointing first half. I’m especially curious about left-hander Brian Matusz, who’s made two starts at Triple-A Norfolk since being optioned and is trying to regain his velocity, command and confidence.
I want to know whether manager Buck Showalter can find a starter who can give him more than 4 1/3 innings.
I want to know whether Brian Roberts will play in his 40th game this season. He’s been stuck on 39 since May 16, and what he gives the Orioles in the second half could reveal their plans for the position over the winter.
I want to know whether the Orioles re-sign shortstop J.J. Hardy, trade him at the non-waiver deadline or let him walk as a free agent and collect the draft picks. I think they should keep him. I’ve talked to colleagues who think the Orioles should trade him while his value is high.
I want to know whether Showalter is ready to lower Vladimir Guerrero in the order, and how much the Orioles can get for him by Aug. 31.
I want to know which other veterans are moved by the end of July and August, and whether the Orioles can get more than mid-level prospects in return.
I want to know whether the Orioles are going to give extended chances to Josh Bell, Brandon Snyder and Ryan Adams.
I want to know how much Dylan Bundy can squeeze out of the Orioles. He’s going to sign. He wants to pitch in the same organization as brother Bobby. But at what cost?
I want to know why I can’t get into the ESPYs like everybody else.
I want to know whether Mark Reynolds can push his home run total ahead of his error total.
I want to know whether Nick Markakis can collect 40 doubles for the fifth consecutive season. He’s short by 29.
I want to know whether Matt Wieters can go an entire season without being charged with a passed ball in games that count.
I want to know whether the Orioles-Red Sox series later this month at Camden Yards will include an undercard.
Am I missing anything?