As a writer and a die-hard fan of the Baltimore Orioles, I want to thank the 2012 squad for bringing back winning baseball to good ol’ Charm City. Prior to last season, it was a little, for lack of a better term, embarrassing to be an Orioles fan, especially when you are surrounded by Red Sox and Yankees fans like I am. Although I always wore my orange and black proudly, last year was different. Fans were able to brag, cheer and even poke a little fun at Red Sox fans. It was great.
Watching this team go 16-2 in extra-inning games and win extra-inning game after extra-inning game was something of which movies are made. They went 29-9 in one run ball games? That’s kooky talk, but last year’s team did just that. They also became the first team since 1900 to complete an entire regular season without having a walk-off loss (although they suffered one in the playoffs).
Want more proof that Baltimore’s 2012 season was magical? They performed the rare feat of producing a mirror season compared to 2011. What does that mean? The Orioles were 69-93 in 2011, just take a look in the 2012 mirror and they finished 93-69. That is spooky!
Although “Orioles Magic” and “BUCKleUp” seemed to be the themes for the 2012 Orioles, the non-published theme was “defying the odds.” Baltimore seemed to do what they have done every year in recent memory, they got off to a hot start and were near the top of the division, but fans and “experts” did not believe Baltimore would continue to win and they would go away. Incorrect!
At the All-Star break, Baltimore was seven games behind the Yankees in the AL East, but was in the thick of the wild card hunt. Still, no one believed the Orioles would remain in the playoff picture come September. Incorrect!
September marked the month that Baltimore fans finally started believing as fans began to fill Camden Yards again, but “experts” stuck to their guns and continued to write off the Orioles as a nice story, but no chance at the postseason. Incorrect!
The world finally believed Baltimore could make the playoffs when they were threatening for the AL East division title with a week remaining in the season and when they secured a wild card spot, those same “experts” gave the Orioles no chance at beating the Texas Rangers in the Wildcard playoff game. Incorrect!
Baltimore beat Texas and pushed the Yankees to the brink in the ALDS, losing in a decisive game five. Defying the odds is what the 2012 Baltimore Orioles did, and they loved every second of it.
The 2012 Orioles made Baltimore baseball fun again. Playing meaningful games in September was not enough for this team, they wanted meaningful games in October, and they prevailed. Some fans were critical when the O’s lost game five of the ALDS to the New York Yankees, but they forget, this team was expected to fight for a .500 record; be thankful and show some love for this team. They defied the odds all season. Orioles Magic lived, and Baltimore fans got to witness it.
The 2013 season cannot come soon enough, and O’s fans cannot wait to BUCKleUp once again.