I’m not one to usually read into something more than it actually is, or go into hyperbole; however, I’ll say this about the Baltimore Orioles: this team has grit, is going through one of those ‘magical seasons’, and may be one of destiny.
There’s no need to go through what happened last night if you’re a fan of this team. I went to Camden Yards last night with some company, and went home completely spent, tired, and just beyond delirious.
The buzz is back in Baltimore for baseball. I would have been certainly satisfied with a winning season back in March; however, now, I fully expect the Orioles to make the playoffs.
Finally, during a Yankee series in downtown Baltimore, the park was filled with orange. It was sight to behold and fans were standing up from the first pitch to the very end. Sitting in the club section on Thursday night, it was quite chilling to see a fan base from up high finally come together for a winning cause in a sold out ballpark.
I would not say I’m the most boisterous person out there; however, I stood and was at the edge of my seat the entire game. So this is only game 137 on the season for the Orioles, but it felt like so much more.
If this is what September baseball is like in Baltimore, I shudder to think what October brings – if the Orioles make it.
Ok, that’s easier said than done; then again, this whole season doesn’t make much sense.
I had a Yankee friend from Jersey City, New Jersey of mine text me during the game during game (again after the eighth inning) and ask in capital letters, “These are the Baltimore Orioles?”
I said, “Yes, indeed; I don’t even believe it myself”.
In a year where the improbable has become possible for the Orioles, last night was truly special. The Orioles were up by a good margin, head to a sure victory; however, they got their you-know-what’s handed to them in eighth inning with Pedro Strop on the mound.
In my mind, I was like “oh no, are the Yankees seriously going to come back?”
I’d seen that script written and played out time over time in the past decade-plus; however, the Orioles decided to make an edit. They would hit three unanswered homers in the bottom of the inning to put the Yankees at bay and walk out with their 77th victory of the season.
And to think, what can you say about Mark Reynolds? Eight homers in seven games? This is the man that so many wanted run out of town?
Now, he’s killing it at the plate and looks like a Gold Glover at first…
Let's not forget the work of Jason Hammel on the mound in perhaps the biggest game at Camden Yards in 15 years. Simply wonderful.
Cal Ripken, as we all know, was honored by the organization, friends and colleagues last night. His statue was unveiled in the picnic area of Camden Yards in a very beautiful, emotional ceremony. Obviously, that being the case -- the Orioles could not lose on his day, despite the rollercoaster ride we all would soon encounter as fans during the evening.
The team – mainly, Orioles Productions - did its part to pump up the fan base as they showed a great video montage of Ripken throughout the years, to playing the White Stripes, “Seven Nation Army”, to Twisted Sister’, “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.
It was quite a night at the Yard.
With 25 games left, the Orioles are pushing not for only a wild card spot – but for a division title. I didn’t think this would happen so soon, but this is reality now.
Let’s hope the good times roll.