Quick question to start things off. Will everyone who predicted that this coming series between the Baltimore Orioles and the Oakland Athletics this week would have serious playoff implications please raise their hands?
Now put your hand down because no one would ever predict something that crazy.
Predictions aside the O’s and the A’s are right in the thick of things as the A’s currently hold the final wildcard spot while the Orioles sit only 2.5 games back (as does seemingly every other team in the American League). These clubs have been two of the best stories in baseball this season. Both teams have seen highs and lows over the course of the season and while the Oakland Athletics are white hot the Orioles seem to be warming up at the perfect time.
This is going to be a very telling series for both clubs as the winner will have a much better chance of earning that final wildcard spot.
Now a wildcard spot would be awesome for the O’s and I’m sure Baltimore would go into a frenzy just to see a game 163 but lets not forget what our expectations were at the beginning of the year. Many of us had our beloved birds pegged for 90+ losses and you would be hard pressed to find any fan in Baltimore that would declare an 82-80 season as a disappointment. After 14 consecutive losing seasons fans want to see a winner. It doesn’t matter if they finish 1 game over .500 or 20; the point is this city is desperate for a winning season.
So I ask you Baltimore, are you not entertained? Your Orioles have bit, scratched and clawed their way to a 51-47 record in hopes of finally delivering this City a much needed winning season. I want to see a playoff game as much as anyone else; especially as a 20 year old who cant remember the last time this town saw winning baseball.
The Orioles are capable of earning that playoff spot they so badly want, I think they can do it, but if they don’t it wont be the end of the world. As fans who have stuck by this team through so much this past decade and half we should have nothing but positives to say about this team as the players, manager, GM, and even the owner have shown progress and promise that this whole “winning” thing is not just a fluke but a mindset that will continue to grow in our ball club and our city.
So enjoy the final stretch and maybe we will see a little more Oriole magic; who knows what happens when you get into game 163 but wouldn’t it make for a great story if they did something magical?