Baltimore Orioles: A look back two years


With the Baltimore Orioles so close to clinching a playoff birth and the AL East crown, I thought it might be fun to take a look back two years to this time. The O’s clinched their first playoff appearance in 14 seasons – while on an airplane on the way to their season-ending series in Tampa. There was no pomp and circumstance, no wild celebration, and no fans – which is all what could await the Orioles tonight if they win. If you read my game recap from that time, I called it the finest hour in the history of the Baltimore Orioles.

Should that feeling be re-thought as the O’s stand on the brink of clinching the division? Maybe, maybe not. For the most part I try to call things

Courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

down the middle for the purposes of Birds Watcher. However some events rock the world; that was one of them, as could be what lies ahead tonight. Back in the spring and early summer we focused on the Orioles just winning series’ and moving on. Now we’re forced to live very much for today as opposed to looking too far to tomorrow. Times change, as do priorities.

With that said, there were some similar feelings that day to what could be felt in Baltimore about the Orioles tomorrow and in the immediate aftermath of tonight’s game:

"However the big news of the day is that the Orioles have reached the “promised land.” This was a team that was supposed to lose 100 games; boy did they blow that prediction out of the water! I’m not sure that we’ll even be able to grasp the majesty of this season until it’s over and done with."

"In clinching a playoff spot and guaranteeing themselves a trip to the “promised land,” the Orioles have paid homage to the franchise’s storied past. The likes of Brooks & Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, Earl Weaver, and of course the great Cal Ripken Jr. are all standing and applauding this morning. However we shouldn’t quickly forget the 14 years that preceded today. There were lots of hardships that befell the Orioles, some of which were self-inflicted and some of which were not. I suppose that nothing can top the feeling of a world championship, which the Orioles have celebrated three times in their history. However given the years between then and now along with the hardships of the last 14 years and the expectations for 2012 at the beginning, there’s something that should be said regarding this moment and this team:This is our finest hour…this is the finest hour in the history of the Baltimore Orioles."

Many folks in Birdland are probably having many of these same things go through their heads today as we wait for game time. Later this week we’ll go through some of the things over the past 17 years that have led up to this point. That aside, I suspect that many Orioles fans have probably had a tough time getting through today due to the anticipation of what could lie ahead tonight. And keep in mind that if the O’s don’t clinch tonight, their next victory or Toronto’s next loss would clinch the division for them.