Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Embrace the Horror

This post was written and conceived entirely by Steve Sherman, known to Baltimore sports radio listeners as "Steve from Homeland." I hereby approve this message:

The Cusp of Greatness

When it comes to the Baltimore Orioles, fans like us are on the cusp of witnessing true greatness. Well, greatness at being not great. Greatness at losing, greatness at failing, greatness at sucking. And I think that's –well- great!

The Orioles (16-42, .276) are on a pace to win less than 30 percent of their games this year. In the last 60 years (that’s 60 with a “6” and “0” next to it), there have been two teams that have finished the season with less than a .300 winning percentage. The 1962 Mets* and 2003 Tigers-- That's it. Two teams. Yes, 2.

I calculated the following: 60 years X a rough average of 30 teams in the league= 1,800 seasons. The Birds are on pace to be ranked 1,798 (with luck maybe 1,799th or even 1,800th!). I say dare to dream.

Club 200

The O’s need to win less than 49 games to finish the season with a winning percentage that starts with a 2, which I hereby dub, “Club 200."

This is the kind of club that the B-Rated Hollywood stars go to at 4:00 a.m. to snort Oxycontin right off the lacquered tables. It’s so uncool, that it’s super cool. I’m picturing the bar scene in Star Wars and then Dana Plato , Gary Coleman , Todd Bridges does stand-up and starts puking out his teeth. Next thing you know, John Waters walks in with two trannies and you wake up 2 days later with no kidneys or wallet. The point is – Club 200 is an interesting (albeit disturbing) place to be.

And if the Orioles' season is going to be terrible (which it is), let it at least be interesting.

You Have to Earn You Way into Club 200

It's easy to be sort of terrible. Hell, the Pirates, Royals and even our Orioles have won in the recallable past. The Old Senators (think baseball, not Robert Byrd**) were never in Club 200. Even current terrible teams like the Astros can’t expect an invite. (Astros are at .390!).

But Orioles fans . . . we can expect an invite.

When the slit in the door opens, and the bouncer sees our squad of misfits (Izturis will need a box to stand on so he can be seen), we’re all getting in. First round is on Atkins.

I look forward to my captain and coke with Crowley.

Dare to Dream gentlemen, Dare to Dream-

Written June 9, 2010 by Steve Sherman

* The Mets’ Marv Throneberry was once ruled out after hitting a triple. He had missed both 1st and 2nd base.

** Robert Byrd (WV) was in the Ku Klux Klan and has served as Senator for 51 years.

*** By the way, the 1906 Cubs have the best record of all time at 116-36 (.763)—which is a real kick in the ironic pants.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Is Greivis an NBA player?

Recently, I read in the paper where Greivis Vasquez worked out for the Washington Wizards. As I pictured GV running around the top of the key, trying to impress Bullets brass with his ability to can open 3 pointers, I wondered to myself, "I wonder if that guy is going to make it in the NBA." And as I sit here writing this, I am not sure. I don't think anyone is. He's not a "can't miss" type of prospect like John Wall, or even a borderline lottery pick like Butler's Gordon Hayward who, my agent friend recently told me, is the best white North American player since Steve Nash. Not that that necessarily means anything.

But back to Greivis. I would love to see Greivis succeed at the NBA level, if for no other reason than no one on the planet just plain wants it more than that guy. I am quite certain that getting to the NBA has been on his mind all day every day for the past dozen or more years. He likely makes daily basic decisions based on whether or not that decision gets him closer or further from the NBA.

But desire is not enough. Playing in the NBA, if you're not a sure thing, requires the right mix of luck, opportunity, and timing. The good news is that only one team has to fall in love with Greivis and use one of its precious picks on him, most likely in the second round.

And if they take Greivis, what they'll get is a guy who will do literally anything to get on the court and help his team win. We learned that in four years during his career at Maryland. We learned that GV doesn't always make the best decisions, but he is capable of carrying a team, making clutch shots, throwing outrageous passes, and giving everything he's got.

Is that enough for the NBA? Is there' a place for a 6-6 point guard who isn't particularly quick and can't jump particularly high? Could he possibly guard the waterbug guards in the league like Chris Paul, Ty Lawson or Jameer Nelson? Probably not. But Greivis, with his long frame and ability to hit the running floater or spot the open man will give those guys match-up problems too.

Often in the NBA, as in life, it's about getting a chance. Here's hoping someone gives Greivis a chance. I think Maryland fans will agree that he's earned it.