This is going to be one of those big idea columns. Not so much about the Orioles, or even baseball, but instead about what I think I am doing here.
I know I am one of thousands of voices floating around on the internet talking about this team in some sort of “official” capacity. Add to that the people commenting on these voices, the people talking in email or instant message or Facebook, and it quickly turns into a wall of sound where almost no one voice can be heard.
I am not a reporter. At least, not in the traditional sense. The origin of the word “blog” is a shortening of “web log”, or basically an online journal/diary that the writer wants the world to see. As such, there is no requirement for me to keep any level of journalistic integrity in regards to my subject matter. I can be as opinionated and biased as I want to be (and in my old sports blog that was not affiliated with any official sports website I was quite opinionated). But I have taken to looking at this site, and this blog, differently.
2 things led me to posting this (as opposed to a look at the 2-14 opening salvo that have made the Orioles the object of sympathy from Nationals’ fans (and how much does THAT hurt?). First was, of all things, a thread on Facebook that went off on a tangent regarding the season so far. When someone asked me how I could still think that this team could finish with 75+ wins (77 to be exact), I thought about how analytically I was approaching this season’s horrid performance as opposed to my friends who are also fans of this team. But it wasn’t until I was reading through the blog of Peter Schmuck (who covers the team for The Baltimore Sun and baltimoresun (dot) com, and is one of my favorite places to go for news and updates on the team, along with the blog of Roch Kubatko) that I saw what was happening in my viewing of the team crystallized into a clear statement. To quote:
Be serious. I’m not disgusted with anyone who cares enough to articulately voice an opinion, but I’m not a fan. I do have to keep some professional distance from the situation. You keep asking me to get mad. Not my job to get mad. My job is to analyze what’s going on based on my experience covering this team and all the others I’ve covered. I have never said this isn’t a bad team. I have said over and over that I believed — and still do — that the approach MacPhail took was the only approach that had any chance to work with the team as screwed up as it was and is. I always said that there was a possibility it would not work and there also is a possibility that even if it eventually does work, it won’t get them to the playoffs. This is a sad situation and we all know who’s to blame, but I’m trying to figure out where they go from here, not where they’ve been.
I diverge from Schmuck at the “I’m not a fan” part, because I am a fan of this team. I have been for as long as I can remember being a fan of anything. But I feel like I need to divest myself of that fanhood while I am writing this blog. Reading Kubatko’s blog will show you that he does not subscribe to that theory, or at least not to the level that Schmuck does. And that is fine. There are no laws in the blogosphere, no rules. It’s like Deadwood with a spellcheck.
But either way you look at it, even when I am giving my opinion on here, I feel it is my job to opine not as a fan of the team but as a fan of the sport, and to base my opinions on THAT.
I will end the rant here, and I promise that the next article will not be nearly as self indulgent. I am on a diet, after all.
About the Author
Written by Ron Burr
Ron is a lifelong resident of Maryland and has been a passionate player and fan of sports for as long as he can remember. When he is not watching the games or explaining to his lovely wife why he is cursing at the television, he runs an improv/sketch comedy troupe, Drop Three. He can't hit a curveball or run a sub 4.5 40 yard dash, but he knows the games and loves talking about it with anyone. Differing opinions are welcome and encouraged!