Oriole Surprise

September 03, 2012 | Tom Federline

The Orioles just keep winning. How? Come on all you true Oriole fans, how many times have you asked yourself that question this year? And your answers? Does this sound familiar – “let’s see, last night  – it was the starting pitching, it was the relief pitching, just who was pitching………the offense must have stepped up, the defense finally came around, so-and-so was hot, etc. etc.” Then you say – who cares, put another one in the WIN column!  As of September 2nd, they are not going away. Yes, O’s fans it is September and the Baltimore Orioles are in a pennant/wild card race.

Back on July 18th, I wrote – The Orioles are Back to Normal……… and at that time they were. This isn’t normal. This is FUN! Buck-Buck is tough, he goes with his gut, he sticks with his players, he is running the team – Showalter style. Dan Duquette is making some fortuitous acquisitions. The organization is feeding off the Andy McPhail farm teams. And the Angelos family appears to have bought into the current approach. Players are going down, players are picking it up, guys you have never heard of before are contributing. They went 18 – 9 in August. The most wins in a single month since September 2004.

This was the best August in 15 years,  that didn’t involve the acquisition of a new manager, i.e. Buck-Buck 2 years ago. There was even a time during the middle of the month, where it looked like the umpires were attempting a little “fix” of their own. The O’s held it together and I believe it was at that point, they became a “team”. It was the Boston series and umpire Laz Diaz. Then the series immediately following in Detroit with umpire Tim Timmons. Both of those umpires should be suspended and/or fined – “Hold them accountable.” Buck-Buck usually remains pretty even keel. Actually, to even keel for my taste (I’m old school – Earl Weaver). But finally, enough was enough and Buck lost it in Detroit.

In Boston – Laz Diaz. A blown “out” call at first involving Adam Jones. It was potentially a turning point in the game and cost the O’s a run.. He clearly missed the call. The next night Jones gets intentionally hit in the back by Clay “Classless” Bucholz in retaliation for Jones plowing the catcher the night before. No warning from Diaz (he’s behind the plate now). Jim Palmer comments  - “Come on Laz………..you blew calls last night……….now this.” In Detroit – Tim Timmons (home plate). Another blown “out” call on Markakis in the first inning when he was safe at home. Then Timmons again, over turned a call later in the game at first base, with Reynolds making another nice saving grab. The first base ump called Detroit player out, Detroit complained, numbnut Timmons comes out and reversed it, ultimately making the wrong call. Buck Showalter wins Orioles Emmy for “Best Earl Weaver Impression – 2012.” Tough week. Orioles prevailed.

The nucleus of the team has remained intact: Markakis (did lose him in June), Jones, Weiters, Hardy, Chen, Johnson and believe it or not Reynolds. Thank you Mark Reynolds for beating the Spankmees this wet Labor Day weekend. The pitching, left field, 3B, 2B has been a revolving door and you have to credit Buck-Buck, Duquette and the numerous replacements that have stepped up. How about that Machado call up? With that surprising addition, they may have secured the corners for the run. It’s hard to keep up with the turnover rate. It’s kind of like Buck is saying – “With or Without You” – (U2), we are on a mission. Buck quote – “This is as good a club I’ve ever had about staying in the moment.” Well O’s – how about, Seize the Moment?

The Orioles are winning. They are a team. I like the “Outfielder Bump” after a win. I like Palmers nickname for the bullpen – “The Orange Curtain”. I like the self-imposed starting rotation competition. I like, that they do not give up. How about that bullpen? The Strop/Johnson combo is holding up. How about the best defense in the majors since the All-star break?  ”Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs. You kidding me? Playoffs?” Yeah, the Birds are perched ready for a run. Fifteen years………..it’s about time. It’s also going to be a long September. And I’m glad! Where did the summer go? Go O’s! O-R-I-O-L-E-S magic.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. JC Says:

    Dan:
    This has truly been remarkable. The numbers don’t bear out their success to date, but somehow the only number that really counts – wins- keeps growing. No one can figure out how they do it other than to say, give me a decent start and a chance to win, and the home run bats and the bullpen will take care of the rest.
    Buck is showing everyone how to win without the monster payroll and all-stars at every position.

    If they can keep this crazy thing going for 21 more games we will once again have baseball in October in Baltimore. Hallelujah!
    I can tell you one thing, if we get there, wildcard or division winner, no one will want to face us. You just don’t know who you are actually going to see on the field, you’re never sure how they are going to beat you, and you never know when the “so what” mojo is coming to get you.

    nothing here is what it seems……

  2. Fedman Says:

    JC,

    They are still hanging. A winning season – First time in 15 years. It’s a shame the Orioles have lost a few key players to injury. All 120+ of them who have come through the “active roster” this year have put all they had into it. Buck-Buck is doing a heckuva job. Fun stuff!
    Thanks for feedback. Keep ‘em rolling.

    PEACE

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