This is the 10th of 12 posts on the season past. Today’s item is not so much a prediction that came true as it is an observation that I noticed very early before the season ever began.
In a sense, I am in the people business. My primary profession is as a pastor of a somewhat sizeable church. I have done this for many years, and I would describe what I do as having a front row seat in a lot of other peoples’ lives. I suppose it is both a requisite skill entering my profession as well as the experiential outcome, that one becomes something of a reader of the personalities of others.
Of course, as a network blogger, I don’t have much in the way of insider information or access to the team in a personal way. The only Orioles players or management I’ve personally known are no longer with the team or are in the minors. So it is difficult to know for sure what life is like behind the clubhouse door, but gosh, it certainly seemed all year like a really healthy environment.
It was my observation very early that this was a team with a great chemistry between people – the kind of laboratory where the end creation might be even a team of destiny. I wrote about this more than simply in the two quotes below. The observation was initially impressed upon me at FanFest on a cold winter day.
I wrote on 4/24 – By all reports of those close to the Baltimore Orioles team and aware of the comings and goings of the clubhouse, it sounds like a happy bunch of campers. This matches my own (admittedly distant) observation of the guys and their comfortable bantering with each other at FanFest. It can’t be all perfect happiness every day, but I sure have not sensed much of anything in the way of interpersonal controversies or annoyances. This is likely a tribute to Buck’s skills in leadership.
I again commented on 9/12 – of the unique wins, over and over …. There is something special going on here, and it has been for quite a while. It may not be seen outside Baltimore that much, but it is a unique story – one that can’t be hidden much longer. I’ll not call it destiny, but I’ll call it a significant case of positive team chemistry that has brought together a group of men to work with one another in such a way as to create the opportunity for one of those rare, uniquely-memorable life experiences.
There is no doubt that this obvious characterization of the team should accrue to the credit of Buck Showalter. He is a great leader, along with being a fine baseball man. It is fun to watch him, to listen to him, and to observe how a great coach balances the roles of visionary, authority, and personal friend and encourager. He is a real person who really cares, yet knows the tasks that have to be accomplished.