Baltimore Orioles: Ready to fly in the ALCS on Tillman Island


If you’re tired of watching teams like Boston, New York, or even Detroit compete for the AL pennant year in and year out, this is your year! This evening the Baltimore Orioles will open up their first ALCS in 17 years, against the Kansas City Royals. If there was ever a matchup between two of the most surprising teams out there, it would be this one. However there can be little doubt that these are the teams that deserve to be there – regardless of what the TV networks say!

Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles will send Chris Tillman to the mound tonight, against “Big Game” James Shields. Lifetime against the O’s, Shields is 11-7 (2-0 this year). However much of that track record came during Shields’ time in Tampa, and I think it’s fair to say that he was playing against much different Orioles teams than what we’re seeing now.

The story of this series will be two things; 1) Long-ball vs. Small-ball, and 2) pitching. Kansas City runs a lot on the base paths, and they love to take extra bases. However they don’t hit for too much power. So pick your poison. Where as Kansas City’s attitude is that if they put two runs on the board the Orioles then have to score at least three to beat them, the Orioles’ attitude is that they can bash runs home at will in most circumstances.

Ultimately, the back story to this ALCS is the return to glory of two once and currently great franchises. Obviously of late the Orioles have started to see success, however Kansas City literally hasn’t sniffed the playoffs since they won the World Series in 1985. Both sides can lay legitimate claim to the team of destiny moniker. However at the end, there’ll only be one left standing. Who will that be?

The answer is that I just don’t know. However in watching and writing for the Baltimore Orioles all season and over the course of the last few years, I’ve noticed that this team has been up and coming for some time. I’ll touch more on this when the off season arrives, but looking back you could almost see the Orioles building from the bottom as time went on. Piece by piece they built the team into what it is today, and perhaps more importantly they stocked up their farm system so as to see continued success as time goes on.

Thus while this series could merely be seen as one of the final steps along the way, the fact is that this has been brewing for some time. Am I saying that the Orioles are a would-be World Series champion? Nobody can say that yet, and the Orioles certainly aren’t looking past Kansas City. However the fact is that there’s a lot of hard work and a lot of strife behind getting to today. And for all we know there might be more in the very near future. But these Orioles are here for a reason.

After so long of having their wings constantly clipped and stepped on, it’s fair to say that the Baltimore Orioles might well be looking to take off. And as they prepare for their first ALCS appearance in 17 years, they might finally be ready to fly.