by Larry Hodges (alias LarryTT)
12) Criticize the Players. If there's one thing we know it's that when a player is in a slump, he looks to critical fans to bail him out. A dozen fans telling him a dozen different things is a dozen brains better than a single experienced coach, who is often frozen with indecision until shown the way by the critical fan brain trust. In this day and age, a slumping player simply cannot cope without a constant steam of postings criticizing his every move.
11) Have Patience as the Orioles Develop their Pitching. The Orioles like to "grow the arms, buy the bats," which is why they've spent years cultivating pitching talent in the minor leagues, culminating in an all-Oriole developed starting staff of Chris Tillman, plus four others they bought.
10) Buy Tickets. Without your financial support they cannot afford to pay $12.5 million to bring in a 4.86 ERA 2-8 starting pitcher, the $10 million that'll be needed to keep our power-hitting shortstop, or the gazillion dollars needed to keep our power hitting first baseman who has hit several home runs this year. With your support, they will have the financial muscle to truly buy a team like the Yankees and Red Sox have, and like them, merrily walk away with the division title.
9) Throw 95 mph Fastballs for Strikes. If you can do this, the Orioles will spend years developing you, and eventually . . . who are we kidding? You start tomorrow.
8) Stop Donating Banana Shaving Cream Pies. During the pennant chase of 2012, the Orioles had a severe shortage of these pies as night after night players earned them. Adam Jones made a public plea for donations, and you, the Orioles fans, came through. But things have fallen off in 2013 and 2014, leaving the Orioles with a surplus as game after game the pies remain in storage, slowly rotting away. The overwhelming smell of decomposing banana in the locker room is unbearable. So please, no more banana shaving cream pies.
7) Tell Adam Jones Not to Swing at Low and Away Sliders. Because only you can prevent Adam Jones from swinging at low and away sliders.
6) First-Round Draft Picks. The Orioles traded away our entire future for this year, and regardless of what happens this year, they will spend the next decade as a putrid pile of festering garbage unless you, Orioles fans, can check your pockets, look under sofa cushions, and check your sock drawer to see if you have a spare first-round draft or two pick lying around.
5) Teach Buck. Manager Buck Showalter has always been an inexperienced rookie, and without you to guide him on the most basic concepts he is lost. Behind that rough exterior lies a heart of gold and a brain that simply doesn't understand basic stuff like us Oriole fans do, and so it is our task to guide him each step of the way.
4) Come Up with Anagrams. Because there's only so many times we can point out that "Baltimore" is an anagram for "Amble Trio" each time Jones, Davis, or Cruz ambles around the bases, and for "Blame Trio" each time they strike out.
3) Invite an Oriole for a Walk or a Run. Perhaps take them for a walk on the beach, or a run in the park. You may have to teach them to crawl first, as you have to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run. And the Orioles can do neither, as they are dead last in the majors in both walks and stolen bases.
2) Recognize Genius. C'mon, we all know the hidden hand of genius that has guided us through our golden years, with some of the strongest Orioles teams of the past twenty years having been in the past twenty years. During the Peter Angelos era the team has finished in the top five in the division every year, with a winning record every year from 1998-2011 (from the opponent's point of view). A perennial division champion every year that is 1997, the Orioles can only beg for your recognition of this genius or he might leave in a huff to clean up some asbestos, sticking the Orioles with a guy who's hit into the most double plays in history as the new owner.
1) Punch a Yankee Fan in the Mouth. Why? Because he's a Yankee fan. (Later we might ask you to punch a Blue Jay fan, but we'll see. We'd ask you to punch a Red Sox fan, but there's no point in beating a dead sock.)
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