Regardless of how the 2015 season culminates, all is not lost for the Baltimore Orioles and their fans. The Orioles’ triple-A affiliate, Norfolk Tides, clinched the IL South Division title with their 8-4 win over Durham yesterday afternoon. The Tides will play the Columbus Clippers (the IL West Division champions) starting Wednesday night in Norfolk.
Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Tides have long been a jewel in the crown of the Orioles’ family. Manager Ron Johnson has quietly become one of the best managers in the minor leagues, and he works very closely with Buck Showlater and his coaching staff. Johnson has spent a decent amount of time in the Orioles’ dugout as well, helping out last September after the Tides’ season ended.
Making this feat more impressive still, it shouldn’t be lost on anyone that the Orioles use their entire 40-man roster potentially more so than any other franchise. So players are consistently going up and down between Norfolk and Baltimore, leaving the Tides’ roster seemingly in a constant state of flux. However similar to Showalter, Johnson seems to know exactly which buttons to push – regardless of who’s in the lineup.
Stay tuned here to Birds Watcher, as staff writer Hunter Firestone will be chronicling the Tides’ push in the International League playoffs. Their five-game playoff series will start on Wednesday evening at 6:30 against Columbus. Games one, two, and five (if needed) will be at Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA.