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This O's fan is in search of a support group

June 17, 2004|by ANDY MASON

No matter how many steroids I might inject, swallow, snort or rub between my toes, I know I still would be unable to hit a home run in Major League Baseball, even against the Baltimore Orioles.

But put me in Yankee pinstripes and I like my chances of going deep, especially against the Orioles. Odds improve even more if the O's are holding a slim lead in late innings.

And you could put me in any mix-match of uniform colors, make me spin circles for 10 minutes and send me to the plate blindfolded, and I surely still could at least reach base against the Orioles.

I wouldn't even have to swing. They'd walk me, saving the grapefruits down the middle for the bigger bats in the lineup to drive me home.

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I have a love-hate relationship with the Orioles.

I love those silly Birds and I hate myself for it.

I probably need some therapy to deal with this inner turmoil, before I completely self-destruct.

Someone needs to start a Hagerstown chapter of Orioles Fans Anonymous. Hi, my name is Andy Mason and I'm an Orioles fan. I've been free of any Orioles emotion for ...

I feel sorry for my wife, Dani. We got married last fall at the end of the baseball season, so she didn't truly know what she was getting herself into.

Because she works regular hours and I work crazy newspaper shifts, our only quality time together during the work week typically comes during my early-evening dinner breaks.

The winter months were great. We'd eat, chat and often share some laughs on the couch watching reruns of "Friends" and "Seinfeld."

Now, we eat and I curse at the Orioles on TV. Of course, I recognize the problem here.

When the Orioles blew an early 5-0 lead in a 6-5 loss at Yankee Stadium two weeks ago, I promised Dani that was it. I was done with the O's. I was so furious I think she almost believed me.

Boy, was she fooled. My hangover was gone the next day and I had a full bottle of innings in the cupboard.

Again, I swore off the Orioles last Saturday, after they failed to score the tie-breaking run with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning in an eventual loss to the Giants.

Hours later, I was getting jiggy with it on the living-room dance floor as the Orioles came back to beat the Giants in extra innings of the doubleheader nightcap.

Dani asked me how long this has been going on. For more years than I care to remember, I told her.

"Why?" she asked.

Because some October it will all be worth it, I said, even if our great-grandchildren have to rehash Game 7 to me over my grave.

However, considering we don't have any children yet, I suppose some evening I really will have to turn off the TV.




Andy Mason is assistant sports editor of The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Thursday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2334, or by e-mail at andrewm@herald-mail.com.

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