You may look at the bottom of the AL East standings and see the Orioles 34 games behind the division leading Yankees. With 87 losses this year, it is quite possible that the same team that started the season in the most embarrassing fashion ever may actually come in under 100 total losses this year.
Before the final series of the season in New York for the Orioles ended with a Nick Swisher two run walk-off home run last night, the Orioles found themselves on top of the AL East in wins with the damn Yankees.
If we started the season over since Buck Showalter was hired on August 3rd, this is the way the division would look:
Via Twitter @KXPX from ESPN
The Yankees have now tied themselves with the Orioles for the best record in the AL East since August 3rd. If I could hack into the ESPN computer system and change the chart I would, but I can’t.
Even though the Orioles have absolutely no chance to make the playoffs this year, they and the schedule makers have put the team in the position to play the ultimate spoilers.
With only 21 games left before O’s players can start to enjoy the offseason, they find themselves playing mostly potential playoff teams which just so happen to be division foes.
The Orioles have:
3 games vs. Yankees (Leading AL East by games over Rays )
3 games vs. Rays (Leading Wild Card by 6.5 games over Boston; trailing Yankees by 2.5 in AL East)
3 games vs. Red Sox (2nd place in Wild Card; trailing Rays by 6.5 games)
With the AL East already guaranteed to bring at least one team to the playoffs, it looks as if they’ll also be placing the Wild Card team as well. Who wins the AL East and the Wild Card is purely up to that individual team and ……. that’s right… you guessed it…. the Baltimore Orioles!
So even though the city of Baltimore hasn’t seen a baseball playoff game since 1997, the road to determining who makes the playoffs this year comes straight through Camden Yards.