Friday, October 12, 2012

Orioles Baseball Reflections--ALDS Finale Tonight

What a ride it has been with the Orioles this year.  The past two nights have had me staying up hours past my bedtime cheering for the team as they are locked in an epic struggle against the evil empire (Yankees). The teams are now tied 2-2 in a best of five series which ends tonight. They have played 25 innings of baseball over the past two nights--making me a very sleep deprived fan.

I am sure tonight will be dramatic. The best pitcher the Yankees have to offer will be on the mound against the "next man up" Orioles.

I like our chances.

I reread some of my blogs form March when I was headed off to Sarasota for Spring Training. The Orioles were expected to be terrible, but in my usual Spring Training mode, I believed that "it" could happen.

I am the eternal Spring optimist.

I go to Sarasota to get a feel for the team.

Here is what ESPN wrote before the season began:"Lefthanders Brian Matusz and Zach Britton make major strides before the team is crushed under the weight of a powerful division. For the sixth straight year, Baltimore fails to win 70 games, for the 15th straight year the team has a losing record. Yes, this is the best-case scenario."

Their best case scenario was, it turns out, a long way from reality. That is why the games have to be played.

The reality:
Entry Hall at Orioles Spring Training Facility

The Orioles won 93 games and made the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. They beat Texas (American League Champions for the past two years) in the one game Wild Card round. They have set up tonight's finale by playing the Yankees to a draw in the American League Division Series. All of these accomplishments are a long way from finishing with over 100 losses. I bought World Series tickets for the first time in my life and I believe that I may yet get a chance to use them to see the Orioles play for the crown of "best in baseball."

So win or lose tonight--the guys gave me and the other fans a season to remember. I hope they don't try to manage my expectations for next year. Because I know what goals I have in mind for this exciting baseball team.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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