Such is Life in Baltimore

It doesn’t have to be this way. The Orioles don’t have to be the butt of every Getting Blanked joke. We may mock and deride their personnel decisions from time to time but, I swear, it isn’t personal.

The Orioles keep popping up the news this spring – for all the wrong reasons. It’s getting a little macabre, really.

After an initial scare, the Orioles finally got some good news when tests revealed Zach Britton does not require any surgery on his shoulder. After rehabbing and starting the season on the Disabled List, he should be fine. Whew. A win for the O’s!

But then the news turns. Former number one draft pick and potential “bust” candidate Matt Hobgood does need surgery of the very worst kind: he’s going under the knife for some rotator cuff work. The good doctor Craig Morgan will be “sizing down” the 21-year old’s rotator cuff so it better fits into his shoulder capsule.

This vaguely Frankensteinish procedure rules Hobgood out for the entire 2012 season. The 2009 first round pick’s pro career got off to a rocky start and never really improved. Still yet to pitch above high-A ball, Hobgood’s conditioning and velocity remain question marks nearly three years after the O’s handed him a $2.45 million signing bonus.

The rest of the news is pretty much par for the OriLOLes course: star shortstop (and recipient of a very strange three-year contract extension when we remember that one of baseball’s top prospects is now behind him on the depth chart) J.J. Hardy experienced shoulder & arm soreness and misses his second consecutive Spring game. Ordinary spring soreness or portends of further Orioles doom?

Don’t worry: everything will be okay. Dontrelle Willis is on the case and ready to provide minor league LOOGY depth. Glad they covered that base. If anyone needs Dan Duquette, he’s busy draping Dylan Bundy in bulletproof bubblewrap for the next two years.