Harry Dunne once so eloquently asked “You know what really chaps my [expletive] though?”
Well on Saturday night after the Orioles beat the New York Yankees and tied them for first place in the AL East (again). I changed my channel over to ESPN to try and relive the highlights, but do you know what completely chapped my hind region? Oh, and extra credit for you if you figured out that was a quote from “Dumb and Dumber.”
Referring to the Yankees, ESPN anchor Kevin Negandhi asked ESPN NewYork’s Andrew Marchand, “Are they frustrated at all that this is the Baltimore Orioles that is chasing them and not one of the more established teams, is that one of the problems here?”
Really ESPN? Is that the best question you can come up with? I mean I know it was a Saturday night around 11 p.m. EST when the game ended, but come on. You could’ve asked if Nick Swisher’s recent 0-24 slump is affecting the clubhouse at all? Will they try changing their offensive strategy being as they rely heavily on the homerun ball? When was the last time CC Sabathia did a cardio workout?
Any of those questions would have been better, but they decided to not give any credit to the O’s and the great season they’re having. I apologize that the Boston Red Sox aren’t in the hunt this year, but do you really think the Yankees care who is chasing them? It could be the Toledo Mud Hens for all they care. The bottom line—a team is right on their heels, and that team is the Orioles.
So what if they haven’t made the playoffs since 1997? The bottom line is they’re playing solid baseball this season and are making a serious push for some October baseball. Granted it might not be pretty, but they find ways to win, which can be summed up in their -19 run differential.
Of all of the teams in the American League fighting for a playoff spot, the O’s are the only team with a run differential in the negative. The fact that they have posted a 78-62 record with that differential is truly amazing.
It’s like when you see an ugly, fat, and bald guy with a really good looking girl, and you think to yourself, “How the heck did he do that?” The O’s are that ugly, fat, and bald guy. They just make it happen (For the record, I’m not calling any of the O’s ugly, fat, or bald; I was simply making a comparison.)
After an arduous four-game series against the Yankees, the O’s wound up splitting the series and remain one game back at this current time. Even though they tied the series, it felt like a loss because they lost Nick Markakis to a broken thumb which will cause him to miss the next six weeks. No good. Markakis was doing an exceptional job in the leadoff spot for Buck Showalter, hitting .335 in 54 games to go along with his on-base percentage of .390. Also, they will sorely miss his great defense in right field.
With the exception of getting blown out during Sunday’s game, the O’s did play well all series. They battled and fought hard and proved that they are in fact establishing themselves as a force in the AL East…finally.
by Andy Mindzak