Monday night, fans of the Baltimore Orioles couldn’t believe the night they were having. First, the Orioles, who had stranded 12 base runners throughout the night and had only scored in the first inning, pulled off another last-minute comeback under the Showalter regime. Adam Jones’ bunt, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 11th inning, allowed Nick Markakis to score, giving the Birds an incredible 5-4 victory of the Seattle Mariners. For Showalter and crew, it was the fourth walk-off victory, proving that the O’s are, now, never out of the game. For the near 13,000 fans in attendance, it was celebration time.
Monday night at 11:57pm, it was celebration time for the Orioles’ front office. Manny Machado, the team’s first-round draft pick, finally agreed to terms and signed his new $5.25 million dollar contract. (Not bad for a 17-year-old guy still in high school). Words can not express how important this signing was. Many “experts” are calling him “the next Alex Rodriguez.” While that maybe be extremely high expectations, the kid is good. And the Orioles need to continue to focus on building the farm system. A strong minor league system is a strong component of a championship team, especially since the team doesn’t have the money to compete with the Yankees or the Red Sox. If the Orioles want to make another run at the championship, they must have a better-than-average farm system, to provide the future superstars of the Baltimore Orioles. The experts believe that Manny Machado is a huge step in the right direction.
Then, last night, the O’s ran into Hurricane French. Luke French, that is! The Mariners’ pitcher only allowed one hit when the 8th inning started. One Matt Tuiasosopo 3-run HR, and the Orioles were left wondering what happened, as they lost 4-0. Thanks Tuiasosopo for being the ultimate buzzkill. Don’t fault O’s starter Kevin Millwood. In 8 innings, Millwood gave up 1 run and 6 hits. Not bad at all. But, when your team only gives you 51 runs this season, fans see that the Birds aren’t giving Millwood the run support he needs.
Once again, don’t panic. Winning two-thirds of your games isn’t that bad. At least it gives us something to look forward to in April. But, before we get there, we have to look forward to tonight. Hopefully, the O’s can win this game and win another series. Either way, the Orioles, and its’ fans, have had a crazy 24-hour period.