Did you hear that sound? No, it wasn’t the crack of Manny Machado‘s bat crushing a 95+ MPH fastball over the Green Monster. Nope. That sound you hear is Oriole come lately fans jumping off the Warehouse catwalk because the team is 5-4 thru the first week of the season.
On the day the Orioles return to the place they ended their amazing 2012 run facing a Yankee squad that doesn’t look anything like the one who beat the Birds (expect for a that certain pitcher of larger carriage who dominated in Game 5), I’m feeling a bit perturbed. The main reason is because of the rhetoric I’m hearing and reading from “fans” about the start of the Orioles 2013 campaign.
Listen, I don’t want to come off as some old, codger who can recite the same tired cliche, “You don’t win pennants in April, but you can surely lose them” routine. But what I’ve heard over the airwaves the past week has made this almost 40-year-old child want to chug some melatonin and fall asleep until September. Is the orange sky really falling because the Black and Orange have dropped some games they probably would’ve won last year? Sure. But I’m also pretty sure Buck’s boys have won a couple that in the past they were sure to drop. I mean when was the last time the Birds dropped a 5 spot in the 9th at Fenway?
Or what I call now, “Camden North”.
Listen, I understand the expectations have risen to a level of absurd for this team due to their amazing run last year and the fact that the team next door owns a certain, prestigious trophy. I get it. But lets remember this team just one calendar year ago were picked by many (including your boy) to win at most 75 games. Instead they rattled off an MLB record 29 wins by one run (9 defeats) and at one point owned 16 straight extra inning wins. But that was 2012 and this is 2013.
I’m as excited as the next Orange Kool Aid drinker about the possibility of another amazing summer run by the Birds. But I’m also not about to get my expectations too high or too low game to game. For example, I took in last Sunday’s game at the Yard where the Orioles opened up a 3-0 lead vs. the hapless Twins only to lose 4-3. The team looked as flat as Kelly Ripa both on offense and especially on defense. Not to mention the “ace” of the staff, Jason Hammel‘s, consistent ability to walk/hit batters who have no shot of getting solid wood on his pitches.
Fast forward to this past Wednesday night where it looked as if the O’s were going to drop their 4 straight game, something they didn’t do all of last year. Instead, Crush Davis hit his 5 homers in 8 games (Orioles team record) and then the best 20-year-old third basemen in the game hit his biggest HR of his young career to complete the comeback. Did I jump up and down when Manny’s ball landed in some douchey, “RedSux” fans lap? The answer is no (maybe a fist pump) because I know sometime this year that fate will be reversed and JJ will blow a save in a similar fashion. It’s freaking baseball, people.
I understand your entitled to act a fool when it comes to your favorite team, good or bad. That is why WE are fans, I get it. But you have to get out of that football mentality Raven Fan and remember it’s only the second week of April which is equivalent to being at halftime of the Ravens Opener in Denver come early September.
Like the title says, “Relax, this is April”.