Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Let History Repeat Itself ... But Only Briefly

August 2007 was mostly, but not entirely dreadful for the Birds

by Matthew Taylor

As of Aug. 12, the Birds are five games under .500. In 2007, the O's last saw five games under on July 31.

This August, the Birds took two of three from Texas. Last August, the O's dropped two of three to the Rangers, including the dreaded 30-3 loss that set off a nine-game losing streak.

So it's fair to say that August, the home team's traditional swoon month, is looking better in 2008 than it did in 2007. But here's hoping that for at least one week this month the Orioles resemble last year's team.

The O's return to Camden Yards on Monday for a home stand that features back-to-back, three-game sets with A.L. East rivals, first the Red Sox (Aug. 18 - 20) then the Yankees (Aug. 22 - 24). Last August, facing a similar situation, the Birds rose to the occasion, taking two of three against the Red Sox at Camden Yards (Aug. 10 - 12) and then matching that outcome on the road against the Yankees (Aug. 13 - 15). The feel-good run was essentially the last bright spot during an otherwise miserable finish to the 2007 season.

The Red Sox series featured two come-from-behind victories, capped by Kevin Millar's walk-off, three-run homer and subsequent water dousing during a MASN post-game interview with Amber Theoharis. The Yankees series featured Daniel Cabrera's 6.2 inning, two-hit gem. Next, the O's touched-up Mariano Rivera in extra innings after blowing the lead in the ninth. That same day, the team signed Matt Wieters. The combination of events led to the Roar from 34 posting, "The Happiest sub-.500 Franchise in Baseball."

So with the Red Sox and Yankees coming to town, and Brian Matusz "hopeful that an agreement can be reached," I'd like to see the Birds have one August week that resembles last season. But only one.

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