Baltimore Orioles: Does excitement win games?


The Baltimore Orioles are a team that basically tries to stay in the emotional middle in a sense. They don’t want to get too high to the point to where things start going past them, but certainly not too low either. I would submit that both extremes are dangerous – both in baseball and certainly in real life.

But are the Birds missing the bus in terms of having an emotional edge in games? In watching the first two games of the World Series, the Kansas City Royals throw all of that “stay in the middle” stuff out the window. When they led off the series with an inside-the-park home run on the first pitch in the last of the first inning, their dugout acted like schoolgirls celebrating. And incidentally I called them out for that on twitter.

Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

But do I have it all wrong? Do the Orioles have it all wrong? Make no mistake about the fact that the Orioles “get excited” also. When someone makes a big play in a game, hits a home run, etc, the team gathers at the base of the dugout to greet the player and he kind of goes through an impromptu high-five line. Some of the high-fives are more intense than others for sure, but there’s no juping around and going through antics that look like they belong in a schoolyard as opposed to a professional baseball dugout – which mind you is a workplace.

But is this throwing of caution to the wind part of what seems to be giving Kansas City an edge in games? I’m not going to lie; I’m one of those people who pays very close attention to the details of asthetics – and that’s true in all walks of life, not just baseball. Point being that I care what people think in terms of how something comes across. So in my mind a player who does something good (such as an inside-the-park home run in the World Series) that calmly goes back to the bench and sits down is sending the message that this is just part of my job, and it’s another day at the office – nothing to see here.

And I respect that attitude. It used to be that wide receivers in the NFL would hand the ball to the refs after touchdowns. Then touchdown dances in the endzone became fashionable…and now it’s gotten to the point to where some guys spin the ball in celebration after first downs. Which incidentally is akin to a baseball player celebrating after a base hit. But again, are the Kansas City Royals gaining their edge partially because they’re willing to throw caution to the wind in this regard and in effect not really care how they “look” in winning? 

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  • It’s obviously tough to say. I obviously believe in winning with class. And yes in baseball circles that has traditionally meant not getting overly excited. But again, the question is whether or not effectively playing down one’s accomplishments puts that team at a disadvantage. It’s almost an effect of trying to ask someone on a date – but while you sit there trying to work out the details and finding the right time someone else steps in and asks the person out – throwing caution to the wind.

    That’s a weak comparison, but you get the idea. Going into last year’s ALCS I believed that the Birds were the better team. But yet Kansas City beat them to the punch at just about everything. Is it that loose attitude that irks old school people like me that’s helping them out? Incidentally that same principle also seemed to come to Toronto’s aid this year, and other teams. And all this while the Orioles watched.

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    By the way, when I say you should stay in the middle, I mean that the other way as well. If you ride the emotions of winning, that generally means you’re suseptible to extremes on the other side as well. If you convince yourself to simply stay in the middle, you might avoid riding the extreme lows of losing streaks also. But at the end of the day, it’s your play between the lines which deciphers whether or not you win or lose. I’m just saying that asthetics matter sometimes.

    Next: Baltimore Orioles: The going got tough

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