For yet another year, it's time to mourn/celebrate/ridicule the fallen. Yet again, I'm never quite sure whether my September schedule will allow me to finish this thread, but there's no harm in at least getting things started: As a great purveyor of insurance once noted, life comes at you fast. Just two years ago, the Orioles were inventing new ways to save closers for imaginary playoff games. Now, they’re among the worst teams in baseball; in fact, they’re among the worst teams in baseball history. It’s hard to understate how little has gone right for the Orioles. There have been young faces of the franchise taking major steps back (Trey Mancini, Jonathan Schoop), stars and stalwarts on the wrong side of their career (Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo), substitutes proving that their time hasn’t arrived (Chance Sisco) or never will (Caleb Joseph, Tim Beckham), and offseason free agent deals flaming out prodigiously (Andrew Cashner, Alex Cobb). There’s a whole rotation of sub-90 ERA+ pitchers in Baltimore (they did have one guy with a 95 ERA+, but he plays for Atlanta now), a lineup featuring four sub-80 OPS+es (including three sub 70’s), and an overtaxed bullpen that leads the league in runs allowed per game. And then there’s the whole Chris Davis experience. Simply saying that Davis is on pace for the worst batting average in history doesn’t really do justice to the horror that has been Davis’ 2018 season or his descent from a three-true-outcomes hitter to a one-true-outcome hitter. In the last two months (since June 27), Davis has hit .191/.267/.414…and those two months have been, by far, the best two months of his season. Before that, Chris was slugging .236 and had scored exactly 11 runs. So lost was Davis at the plate that in June, a bar just outside of Baltimore started giving out free shots every time Davis got a hit; by that point in the season, Davis had only gotten about 30 hits, so it wasn’t really costing them anything. Not to worry, though….the O’s only owe Mr. Davis $92 million over the next four years! Anyway, given the state of the team, the Orioles did the only thing they could really think to do – they sold off everything that had value. (Or tried to, anyway – Adam Jones exercised his 10/5 rights and refused to leave the Orioles.) Manny Machado, the lone bright spot in the lineup, was sent to the Dodgers; Jonathan Schoop went to Milwaukee; Brad Brach, Kevin Gaussman, and Darren O’Day went to Atlanta; and Zach Britton went to the Yankees. What’s left now is a team with no stars, a lagging (but hopefully remade) farm, several terrible contracts, and a certified whiff machine at first base. In short, it’s a team that’s record-setting levels of bad. As of now, it looks like the Orioles are unlikely to catch the ’62 Mets record for losses, but Baltimore’s Aug. 10 elimination from the division was the earliest such elimination in the division era, and it tied the ’62 Mets and ’32 Sox for the earliest elimination from some sort of playoff position. They’ve still got an outside chance at setting the all-time games back record (the modern one – they’re not touching the 1899 Cleveland Spiders), so at least there’s some reason to pay attention to the Orioles. However, there’s an awfully long road back to contention in Baltimore, and the guy in charge doesn’t exactly have a sterling track record of building up a farm system. The O’s last made the playoffs in 2016. Their last title was in 1983.