Friday, September 14, 2012

End of Years of Frustration

I attended the Orioles baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday at Orioles Park at Camden Yards.
Middle of the 14th Inning,
September 13, 2012

The game lasted 5 hours and 14 minutes, officially, going into the 14 inning before ending in a victory for the home team--the Orioles. I don't normally get to enjoy 14 inning baseball games from start to finish, they usually end too late for me to stay awake, but this game began at 12:35pm with me in attendance at the park on a beautiful day with the Orioles playing meaningful September baseball for the first time since 1997. The day began with the O's tied with the New York Yankees, the thugs of baseball--and ended with the pressure cooker that is the end of the season squarely on the Yankees who were playing the Red Sox and eked out a win of their own to remain tied.

My Front Door After the Orioles Win
The game had the feeling of a play-off game--which although it wasn't, the implications were huge. The Orioles were trying to sweep the Rays in a three-game series and keep the heat on the Yankees who seem to be cracking under the pressure of season ending baseball.

At the end of the day, the win assured the Orioles of their first non-losing season since 1997. The Orioles ended the day at 81-62, 19 games over .500 with 19 games left to play. A huge triumph for a team picked by the pre-season pundits to finish with possible 110 losses.

I sat through the game yesterday almost unbelieving. The score was tied at the end of nine innings 2-2, every batter and every out was critical. I watched the Orioles blow a 2-1 lead at the end of seven innings. I saw the team battle in a manner I have not seen in years.

The losing is over.

The winning attitude is here.

When I arrived home after the game, my house was decorated appropriately by Patrick and Tina--complete with brooms by the front door for the sweep of the Rays!

I thought the Orioles on the garage door was an especially nice touch.

Although it would be easy to call the season a success--this team and its fans want more. There is even talk of winning not only the division form the hated Yankees--but the World Series. I love to dream--but sometimes, dreams come true.

But for now--yesterday was a win during a long 162 game season which signaled the end of over a decade of impotence and frustration. I celebrate with the city and the region the return of a proud baseball franchise to relevance. And, I am just happy to be along for the ride.

Go O's.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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