Thursday, October 6, 2011

Make it count

Wednesday night was simply the best night of regular season baseball I have ever experienced. My fiancee, friends and local bar-flies huddled in Fraziers on the Avenue heads ping-ponging back and forth between the two televisions. One was set to the Rays' game, the other on the Orioles.

When Davis doubled we cheered; when Reimold doubled the place went nuts; when Andino slapped a soft single and Reimold crossed the plate the entire bar erupted in an exultation of sheer joy that spilled out onto the sidewalk as the Orioles spilled out of the dugout. From the sidewalk we saw Evan Longoria's game-winner and we cheered again.It truly was an amazing night.

Do I feel bad? On a certain level I do, I mean the Orioles destroyed the Red Sox season and likely cost Terry Francona his job. But then I remember the countless times that I have been intimidated, heckled and nearly assaulted by the various members of Red Sox-nation and I feel OK again. Personal feelings aside it was an amazing night of baseball in general, the sheer odds of a night like that happening are astronomical. If the Yankees had won, it would have not been as magical; if the Sox had won it would not have been as special; if the Orioles had won in a total blowout it wouldn't have meant as much. Now the Orioles need to make it count.

In 2012 the Orioles need to ensure that Wednesday the 28th of September was the start of something and not just another game. Because if the Orioles come out next year and run out another 70-win team then the magic of that night will have been all for nothing. It would be a fun night, but nothing more. Even the most cynical among us can feel it, you just get the feeling that the video of that night should end up as the beginning of a DVD. You can almost hear the baritone of the announcer's voice explaining how the scrappy Orioles, in dead last, never gave up and knocked out the predicted class of the division: "And thus, two teams diverged - Boston was unable to get away from giant, under-performing contracts while the Orioles ascended finally after 14 years of waiting."

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