September 30, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles fans show their support for the team during the last regular season home game against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Red Sox 6 - 3. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

It is Never Easy!

It is difficult to win – I’ve certainly learned that from my high school coaching career … which is why I’ve always said you have to celebrate when you win something significant, because the next opportunity might not come around for a long time. Maybe not even for 15 years in some cases.

With the late night loss of the Angels, the Orioles have won some sort of playoff berth, and that is amazing. They will continue to rightly garner article after article for their “worst to first” Cinderella season. And let’s hope at the end of these final three games it is “first” that is celebrated.

But I would not count on that. Nope… these Orioles have to overcome EVERY obstacle. The primary ingredient in the soup of destiny for this club seems to be “perseverance” as much as it is “victory.”  If there is a difficult and obstruction-riddled pathway, well, that is the one this team is sent down at every turn.

It is never easy!

Speaking of ingredients, one of the components in the Orioles’ success this year is the focus factor demanded by Buck Showalter – insisting upon the timeless truth of life that you can’t change the circumstances that befall you by the actions of others, you can only change and affect your own circumstances. So it was not surprising at all that, upon winning the game yesterday, as the team and fans watched the JumboTron finish of the Rangers-Angels game – sure enough, the celebratory moment was lost when Texas closer Joe Nathan lost the save (only his third). Figures!

I missed seeing this scene, as I was driving my son back to UMD College Park, but on the radio at that moment Brady Anderson was being interviewed. As Torii Hunter doubled home the winning runs, Anderson dryly said, “You can’t count on anyone else for help, we’ll have to win it on our own.”  So it is; so it has been all year; so it will be the next three days.

It is never easy!

There are no breaks for the Orioles … other than broken bones inflicted by an over-paid Yankees pitcher on a 0-2 count on a day when he had walked nobody … other than a Dustin Pedroia liner leaving one of our remaining effective starters in a walking boot with a scheduled MRI. Heck, the Orioles can’t even get from point “A” to point “B” simply – having a fire on their charter plane to Tampa divert them to Jacksonville instead. At least we can be thankful their bats didn’t go up in a blaze!

It is never easy!

Sure enough, on the first year when there is an extra wild card team – which would at first seem to aid the fortunes of an upcoming outfit like the Orioles – it may work toward greater complication and additional games.

It is never easy!

One would reason that the Orioles cannot keep hurdling every obstacle for an indefinite time. Or can they? Something else that is not easy is literally jumping hurdles – I know this, I’ve been a track coach. But after a while there is an art to hurdling, and (pressing the metaphor) the Orioles have mastered that if they’ve mastered anything at all throughout this bizarre season! So, what’s another hurdle?  … another obstacle? … another injury? … another seeming injustice rendered by fate’s cruel hand?  As the most famous track hurdler’s tee-shirt says as a slogan, “just get over it!”

But, it is never easy!

Prophetic Utterance Alert

How could this season end appropriately? Let me offer a wild suggestion! This is “out there” and does seem wild, but after all we’ve seen from this team, what could not be possible? Imagine this:  It is the end of the game Wednesday night and the Orioles need a big hit to win and clinch the divisional title. And at that moment, Showalter calls upon #51 – Steve Pearce, lately released by the Yankees – to pinch hit, and he delivers the death blow to the Evil Empire! Seem far-fetched? Not if you’ve been watching this team for the past 12 months!

But all I know with certainty is this:  It is never easy!

Twitter: @OSayOrioles

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