Thank You

Thank you, 2012 Baltimore Orioles.

Thank you for reminding us that baseball can be fun, even more so when you’re playing for keeps. Thank you for reminding us that the game is not rigged. Maybe a little tilted, but not rigged. The powers that be can be disrupted by a special group of people. The 2012 Baltimore Orioles were, and are, a special group of people.

They put together a remarkable collection of moments that spoke to overused phrases like “grit,” and “mental toughness.” All the cliches about hard-working baseball teams applied to the Orioles, but they were all true. They hit with no world-renowned hitters. They fielded with few exceptional fielders. They pitched with guys nobody had ever heard of. They were invigorated by a manager who barely registered a pulse. They won games they had no business winning.

Not only did they win, but they did so in a way that forced baseball to redefine the conventions for success. They kicked balls around the infield and threw them in the stands for two solid months. They got outscored by opponents for most of the season and kept on winning.  They struck out at horrifying rates, relied on timely miracles, home runs and unrealistic expectations set upon unproven people.

They did all these things with a smile on their faces and a cartoon bird on their brows. The entire baseball world waited for the bottom to fall out on the team. It never happened. One by one, long-frozen fans thawed from their caves, beginning to believe that spring had truly sprung.

It could be another fifteen years. It could have been lightning in a bottle. There are no guarantees in life, in sports, and especially in baseball. It will take at least that long, much longer in fact, to erase the mark the 2012 Orioles left on this city. And even then, a new generation of fans will know that it really is possible to come back from the ashes. They have the proof. They have seen it with their own eyes.

Thank you for giving us games that meant something. Thank you for helping us reach back to that point in our lives when they all meant something. And for those that have never had those moments, thank you for creating them.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. See you in April.

 

Sincerely,
A Baltimorean

10 Comments

  1. Erica

    October 12, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    This is very well written, and sums up my feelings about the season. Thank you for writing it!

  2. mystery man

    October 13, 2012 at 8:49 am

    What about Nate’s home run ? Not rigged huh …

  3. spy

    October 13, 2012 at 9:10 am

    What about the ultra low strike zone for the low baller Sabathia , why even Dempsy mentioned it after the game , it was not a balanced strike zone for the O’s pitchers most of the series,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you see people the game can be fixed but most in broadcasting will not admit it or even mention it , cudos to Dempsy…………That being said , the O’s deserve credit for doing what they did with a bunch of cast off’s and over paid players , Buck did a nice job throughout the year , maybe he over managed in the playoffs a bit , but he got the O’s there , you can’t question his desire to win,,,,,,,I hope he stays around for a while and Peter the great buys a bat , a true top tier bat like he promised he would several years ago………………….

    A top tier bat and a true number one pitcher and the O’s would be world champs , I can smell it , can’t you…………….

  4. MGW

    October 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    It was one helluva ride…thanks Orioles!

    And Dave is right, this could be lightning in a bottle and it may be 15 years until they reach the playoffs again, but does that mean you don’t sit back and enjoy a helluva story and a helluva season?

    I used to have this friend, Stat Boy, who talked about this being smoke and mirrors and couldn’t be repeated next year. He missed the whole season fretting over the “bottom falling out” or what “next year’s record” would look like. Maybe he’s right, but this season was magical and a story that if Disney wrote it, none of us would believe it.

    I happen to think this season is a building block for future success. Those of you who expect a big flash in free agency can forget it. DD and Buck will find guys to fill roles and supplement the “team”. I think they will contend again next year.

    Thanks for a great season!

    • spy

      October 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      If this is the way they will handle filling their holes , they lied to us once again , I sem to remember them saying ‘buy the bats’,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,when will they buy top tier bats ?

      • MGW

        October 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm

        Looked at the FA list today…check it out and tell me who you’d sign. Looked pretty sparse to me.

  5. Ravens2488

    October 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Who is this “Stat Boy” that you speak of MGW?

    MGW is correct. What you saw last night is basically what you will see next year as far as the lineup.

    Catcher – Wieters
    1st – Reynolds (?) I would give Reynolds another shot
    2nd – (?) Definate need here and Roberts ain’t the answer nor Andino
    SS – Hardy
    3rd – Machado
    LF – Markakis
    CF – Jones
    RF – McClouth
    DH – Davis

    I think if they can get 2 above average starting pitchers they would look good next year.

  6. 9inchnails

    October 14, 2012 at 8:48 am

    As a life long O’s fan, this season was great for me but all those losing seasons, I still followed every single game with interest. This year was different, I got a chance to cultivate the next generation of O’s fans. My kids went to a dozen games and thoroughly enjoyed them all. This is what baseball and sports are really about. Enjoying the games with family and friends, we did that and the O’s were successful on top of that. So I thank the O’s for allowing me to hang out with my children.

  7. Ravens2488

    October 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    9Incher, I’m with you except that I want my son to experience the emotions of a World Series… I want him to walk downtown after a World Series victory much like I did in “83″ (Seriously) high fiving everyone, drinking brewski’s, screaming at the top of his lungs, kissing women, etc… The raw emotion of your team winning it. I lived through World Series and Super Bowl victories, enjoying the aftermath and I want him to do the same. He never experienced an Oriole World Series and he was 14 when the Ravens won the Super Bowl. The experience is best enjoyed in your 20′s though we all enjoy it…

    • spy

      October 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      I agree with Ravens2488 , there is nothing like being a part of the world series , maybe just maybe Peter the Great will bring in a number one pitcher and two top tier bats and we will get there now…………………