… I can do anything better than you. No, you can’t! Yes, I can! No, you can’t! Yes, I can! No, you can’t! Yes, I can, Yes, I can! Those are the words from the 1946 Irving Berlin hit musical “Annie Get Your Gun.” And those are the words the Orioles could lay on the Yankees after beating the Bronx Bombers in Yankee-esque style!
My colleague Domenic Vadala will post a blow-by-blow account of it in the morning, but quickly stated: Can it get any better than seeing the Orioles blow a 6-1 lead in the eighth inning, only to come back with four of their own runs in the bottom of the same to win the game 10-6? Does it get much better than having that sort of victory pull the team into a tie with the Evil Empire? Can it get much better than beating the Yankees with a six-homer game?
Yes it can, yes it can! It can get better by doing it three more nights and by winning a divisional crown!
On a night when “The Iron Man” was enshrined in bronze, and the stadium was ablaze in orange, Buck Showalter rightly observed, “You could tell there was a little something special in the air.” The sold out crowd was truly the 10th man on an evening to be long remembered.
After a strong Orioles win a few weeks ago, I commented about how the Orioles could really use one of the big boys on the team to get hot and carry the Birds. With eight homers in the past seven games, I think it is safe to say that Mark Reynolds has stepped forward as that guy. With a pair of homers today, he has done the dual-dinger thing off the Yankees for the third time this season! The only other person in baseball history to accomplish this feat in a single season against the Yankees was the Tigers’ Hank Greenberg in 1938. I can’t say that I’m old enough to have seen him play, but suffice it to say he was a good one!
The other Orioles “big boys” also came through this evening. The most critical shot was an Adam Jones leadoff homer in the bottom of the 8th – after the Yankees had just scored five runs to come all the way back to tie the game – and A.J. took the game right back into control. This was a big-time player making a big-time play in a big-time situation. We may well look back at this particular at bat as the single most critical moment of the season – a moment when it could have ALL gone one way or the other.
Other big boys with big bops included shots by Chris Davis and Matt Wieters. And perhaps the hardest hit ball of them all was a drive by Robert Andino – who had his game face swag on tonight! Hey, if four or five guys all want to carry the team at the same time … cool! I support that!
This entire situation of Mark Reynolds and his play over the recent stretch of games raises an interesting question long-term for the Orioles. Yes, this is jumping WAY AHEAD when there are a lot of other things to be watching and thinking about right now … but … how could the Orioles organization not bring back Reynolds for next year if this level of play continues through the end of the season? Imagine if Mark Reynolds – with home runs galore and strong defensive play at first – is the most critical piece in carrying the Birds well into the playoffs. Even though the option on him for next year is extremely high; and even though no one just weeks ago could have imagined the Orioles would pick that up … well, they might have to, and they may well even want to! It would be justice for someone who is indeed a nice guy.
So, I’m sorry that as one of the older bloggers on this network I’m not as likely to quote pop culture and the most well-known of contemporary artists. Oh well, that is simply what makes me cute! But let me finish with the second verse of the song referenced at the top:
“Anything you can be, I can be greater. Sooner or later, I’m greater than you.” Yankees – pay attention; we’re talking to you!