I have internal proof now that this season is a very different one for the Baltimore Orioles. It is mid August and they are still alive in the playoffs race. For as many years as the Birds have been posting losing seasons, I have been coaching a fall sport in a public high school – cross country. Practices begin at this time each year, and the busyness of coaching combined with the irretrievable numbers of games behind for the Orioles, has caused me to lose focus on the final weeks of the season. My blog articles became increasingly scarce, as there was little to write about other than hopes for some prospects to shine in some future year. This year is different!
The annual question of Baltimore baseball skeptics is essentially the title of the #3 hit song of 1966 by The Happenings: Will I See You in September? The lyrics are those of a fellow who fears losing his love over the summer vacation to “the dangers of a summer moon above.” All of you young readers are asking, “What is this old guy talking about?” What? You don’t remember the song, eh? OK… well, then you are also too young to remember Frank Robinson winning the 4th and final game of the 66 World Series over the Dodgers, scoring the lone run of the day on a solo homer! That was a good year, and so it this one.
The Orioles enter a stretch of critical games over the next two weeks that bridge us to September. I believe that if the Birds can get through these games and be in a similar position as they are at this moment – the fifth and final playoff team – that they will secure a playoff spot. In September Duquette can expand the roster for the final stretch run. Yes, you are correct – so can everyone else. But I believe the expanded roster in Buck Showalter’s hands is an advantage over what others will possess.
Until then, the roster moves continue. So Patton somehow sprained his ankle! I’m afraid to hear how it happened, and I hope it is not indeed a DL situation. At this moment of writing, it has not been officially announced as such. But if it is, the Orioles will find a way, as they have all year, to remedy the situation with roster moves. And all the more reason to be pleased to have lefty J.C. Romero joining the squad! My memories of his pitching are more positive than his stats – so hopefully my memories are the better reality, as his numbers are honestly not that stellar. On a related note, my inside sources tell me that it is not true that the Orioles have replaced the metal door to the clubhouse with a revolving glass door salvaged from a torn down hospital! Don’t believe everything you hear!
So here are the remaining games in August with my hopes for the team: 3 games at home with Boston (2-1), 3 games in Detroit (2-1), 3 games in Texas (1-2), 3 games at home with Toronto (2-1) and 4 at home with Chicago and a final road game in NY (3-2) … equals a total of 10-7, which would put the Orioles at 72-60 going into September.
If the Orioles do that, we will see them in September! And I will be writing blog posts on my laptop while travelling in a bus full of high school athletes.