The Orioles announced today that they will not play in the 2011 MLB Season. Ownership has decided to forfeit the season in order to regroup for 2012.
Most Baltimorians were surprised by the announcement. Many thought the Orioles had folded after Cal Ripken had retired, and weren't even aware that Baltimore still had an MLB franchise!
When asked about offering refunds to those who had already placed deposits on season's tickets for 2011, GM Andy McPhail replied 'Steve owed me twenty bucks anyways, so it works out fine.' Most games at Oriole Park this year were pretty empty. They were one of two teams to have a home game with less than 10,000 fans in attendance.
Baltimore had originally contacted MLB about switching divisions, or even leagues for 2011. McPhail wanted to move the team to the AL Central. His reasoning: 'Seriously, why can't we play the Royals and Indians 18 times a year instead of playing the AL East?! We can beat those teams'. Rumours have circulated that McPhail had moving trucks ready outside of Camden Yards to move the team to Indianapolis, but thought that once was enough for the city. Talk circulated about the Orioles and Nationals switching leagues, but the Orioles refused, stating that if they couldn't beat the Yankees and Red Sox, they probably couldn't beat the Phillies or Braves either.
It's no surprise that the O's don't want to play in the AL East. They went 24-48 against the AL East and finished 5th in the division, the only team that didn't play above .500 ball. By forfeiting the 2011 season, they guarantee themselves a 5th place finish for a fourth straight season. They used to own 4th in the division, but after the exorcism in Tampa, the O's have become cellar dwellers. Owner Peter Angelos was heard as saying "Hey, even if we forfeit the year, 5th is the worst we can do. KC will show up for every game they have, but they won't even see 5th next year!"
The focus will be on 2012, management stated. Players will have the chance to not only get healthy, but to learn the fundamentals, like how to catch, run and throw. Management is keen on landing Roger Clemens for the 2012 season. He's pitched for the Yanks, Jays and BoSox, so he clearly likes pitching in our division. Plus, he'd be close to BALCO's Chesapeake offices, CBALCO.
All hope is not lost for 2011 in the region. If O's fans want to see some baseball, the Nationals usually have plenty of seats available for games that Stephen Strasburg doesn't pitch. Might as well fill one stadium in the area, right.
*This article is clearly meant to be satirical.