Yes, the Orioles’ improbable post-season ended today. Despite forcing a game five against the Evil Empire, CC Sabathia shut down the Orioles and the Yankees were the ones to celebrate (with some cheap bottles, per Darren Rovell).
Even though every Baltimorean would have loved to smash a crab mallet into the Yankees’ skull, this wasn’t a loss to be ashamed about. The Orioles went toe-to-toe with arguably the best lineup (minus A-Rod) in the MLB and came within a few missed opportunities of playing in the ALCS. So don’t call out Adam Jones and Jim Johnson for their less then stellar performances. Don’t you DARE call out Buck Showalter or Dan Duquette for not taking the O’s to the World Series. Yes, of course we have all loved to see the O’s compete for a World Series, but let’s take this into perspective.
The Orioles fought through anything and everything this season: preseason rankings of dead last, injuries to Nick Markakis, Nolan Reimold, and Brian Roberts, rain inside of a domed stadium, and even a fire on the team plane. Even through all of this, the Orioles managed to break a 15-year losing streak, win 93 games, and make some serious damage in the playoffs. So how’d they do all this? “Orioles Magic”, of course.
What exactly is “Orioles Magic”? Well, there is no specific answer. But I’m sure it has something to do with having one of the most dominant bullpens in the league, winning 16 straight extra-inning games, having a 20 year-old 3rd baseman wreck havoc with his bat and his glove, keeping a steady starting rotation despite not having a true ace, having a player on your playoff roster who was on the Long Island Ducks just a few years ago, and having some guy named Nate McLouth lead your team in the post-season. But who says that can’t continue into next year?
The Orioles’ rotation will still be the same and could see the additions of Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. Manny Machado will enter his first full year as a pro awill surely develop into a super-star. Nick Markakis will be back from injury and in all likelihood be the new leadoff hitter. Chris Davis will be back and will lay some lumber in whatever position he plays. Most importantly, Buck Showalter, the magician behind the new brand of “Orioles Magic” will be at the helm of the Orioles’ dugout
Also, who knows? Josh Hamilton would certainly look good in black and orange. Now, wouldn’t that be some “Orioles Magic”?