Nolan Reimold has been at Camden Yards for the past few days, though he wasn't visible to the media until he strolled through the clubhouse this afternoon and plopped down on Chris Tillman's chair.
Reimold is in town to get checked by a team physician and hang out for a little while. He's progressing well from surgery to remove a herniated disc and fuse the vertebrae, but he's not close to playing again. He couldn't suddenly be activated from the disabled list and become part of a playoff roster.
Almost as painful for Reimold is being away from the team, "especially when the team is having so much success." he said.
"You want to be a part of it, but I'm happy for the guys, happy for the team, the organization and the fans that they were able to be such a good team this year and prove everybody wrong. Hopefully, they keep it going, finish strong and get in the playoffs.
"I went up here to see the surgeon, got some X-rays. The bone is fusing together, but it's not quite totally done, so once that's totally fused, he said he would clear me to do normal activities.
"He wanted me to come up again in another two or three months, check it out again. I can do pretty much whatever minus not being stupid. My neck feels pretty good, my arm feels pretty good, the strength is still coming back, so at the rate it's going, I feel pretty confident I'll be ready to go for spring training."
The numbness in his arm isn't completely gone.
"My arm is patchy, so it's clearing up," he said. "They said the strength and feeling are two separate things that would come back at separate times. They said even if the feeling never comes back, it's fine as long as the strength comes back."
Reimold hasn't attempted to swing a bat or run.
"I don't want to do herky-jerky stuff when the neck's not healed," he said. "I'm sure I could run, and I'll progress into that as the offseason goes on. I'm not going to be sitting around. I'll do what I can do and I'll be doing a lot. I'll be in shape physically, when that comes around. And two to three months to get in shape physically baseball-wise is fine."
Reimold described watching the team at home as "bittersweet, I guess."
"You know, obviously I want them to do good, but I obviously want to be here, so I'm really happy that they've been playing so well. But I got to come up here for a couple days and be around it for a little while.
"Of course I'd like to be there during the postseason, so we'll see what happens. We'll play it as it comes, I guess."
Just as reporters were ready to click off their recorders, Reimold said, "I wanted to thank Mr. Angelos publicly. He stepped in and made sure I got the best doctors, the best surgeons, the best care and everything taken care of for me. I'm very appreciative to him and his family, and also to Brady (Anderson), because Brady is the one who went to him and told him my situation, and he stepped in and got me the best care. So I wanted to thank him."
Going back to Showalter's pregame session with the media, he said the following about the idea of lining up his rotation for the postseason:
"Someone talked about, if we go down the road and are able to get in the playoffs, how would you set it up? We feel pretty confident about any of the guys we run out there, and it's kind of who we are."
A year ago today, the Orioles won their 162nd game and ushered the Red Sox out of the playoff hunt. Easily one of the most memorable nights of my baseball-covering career, and that includes 2,130, 2,131, Cal Ripken voluntarily ending The Streak and his final games.
Did that intensity carry over to this season?
"I can't say it didn't help. It does," Showalter said. "You create your own intensity. This is a self-starting group. When you're playing a day game, getaway day in Kansas City in the middle of the summer, those things come into play. You're going to give in and go through a robotic. ... It doesn't happen with these guys.
"I think once again we kind of fed off the emotions of our fans, too. It was important to them. You don't play at this level and do what these guys do, the best players in the world, without having those competitive juices. If you don't, you're not going to be here very long, because somebody is always there to knock the wind out of your sails. It's not for the weak of heart."