Baltimore Orioles: ALDS game times


This has the keen feel of an off season column – but the fact is that there’s not much going on for the Baltimore Orioles; until Thursday, that is. Yesterday was a full team day off for all personnel. Weather permitting, the Orioles will work out and play simulated games on the field at Camden Yards today and tomorrow, before taking on Detroit in game one of the ALDS on Thursday.

We can talk playoff rosters all day long, but that won’t be solidified unti 10 AM Thursday. That’s right, the roster aren’t due until the day of game one. Nevertheless, let’s talk about what we do know. If Kansas City defeats Oakland in tonight’s AL Wild Card game, game one of the ALDS at Camden Yards between the O’s and Detroit will begin at 5:37 PM. If Oakland is victorious he game will begin at 6:07 PM. I have no idea why there’s such a discrepency either way.

Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Consequently, if Wednesday’s NL Wild card game ends ends with Pittsburgh defeating San Francisco, game two of the Orioles/Detroit series will be at 3:07 PM. If San Francisco beats Pittsburgh the game will begin at 12:07 PM on Friday. Again, this is all dictated by MLB and television times; however I do find it odd that even the National League’s pairings could affect the O’s. Incidentally, when the series shifts to Detroit on Sunday game three is set to begin at Comerica Park at 3:45 PM. That should be fairly interested, as the Detroit Lions will be playing the Buffalo Bills at 1 PM next door at Ford Field.

One thing I do find interesting about these AL East Champion O’s is the road that they’ve taken as compared to the road that could lie ahead. For so many years the O’s struggled in the AL East. Seriously…think back a decade or so. We consistently saw this franchise at it’s worst during division play (think Mother’s Day Massacre). If you look back at the schedule in terms of the road to clinch the division, the final “countdown” so to speak brought the Birds through the heart of the AL East. While they struggled a bit in Tampa, they swept Boston, took three-of-four (including a doubleheader) against New York, and then had to get through Toronto at the end to clinch the division crown.

It was almost as if they needed to fully exorcise those demons in order to be champions. That might sound a bit pointless to bring up, however look at what could lie ahead also. Of the four other teams in the American League playoffs, the O’s only have a winning record in 2014 against Anaheim. If the Orioles advance, it could very well be Anaheim that’s waiting in the ALCS. However if it’s not, they would then be forced to get through yet another team that gave them trouble (as recently as this year) to advance further.

I suppose the point here is that if you want be the best you first have to beat the best. And the ten teams that are in the playoff “tournament” are without a doubt the creme de la creme of the league this year – including the Orioles. And that’s what the playoffs are about in any sport; everyone who gets in is good. The post season separates the good from the great.

And on that note, I want to offer my congratulations to the Kansas City Royals, and especially their loyal fans. That team will play their first playoff game since 1985 tonight. As long as a road as the Orioles traveled, I suppose it pales in comparison to that. Those fans deserve this game, and while we make a point of calling this down the middle at Birds Watcher, I’ll admitt that I’m pulling for them tonight.