What a strange season for the Baltimore Orioles.
Some of the worst baseball seen from this team as they hit rock bottom. Now, some of the best baseball seen in years and hope for the future.
Hope. Enthusiasm. Confidence. Success.
Words that are very important for this long-suffering franchise and its long-suffering and dedicated fans.
The winning run under Buck Showalter has provided a lift for everyone in the organization.
When the O's were on a pace to lose 120 games, they became a national joke. The club that was called a team on the rise by many analysts and pundits over the winter, was flopping. Big time.
It go so bad for the Orioles that anyone connected with the team was subjected to criticism. Every draft pick, every acquisition, every marketing strategy, every team promo must stink because everything the O's did must be bad.
Now the tide has turned the other way for the entire organization.
Fans and O's critics realize, some grudgingly, that not every move and everything Oriole is bad. Suddenly Andy MacPhail looks better, so does Joe Jordan and everyone in player development and scouting.
This is not to say all is well now or that the club is suddenly an overnight contender. But now the team will head into the off season on a high note and the months ahead will be filled with much more optimism than the anticipated doom and gloom of several weeks ago.
The club drafted a top young talent and signed Manny Machado and now the O's will finally have a quality spring training facility to call their own. Some good things are happening in addition to the improved won-loss record.
Where once there were only clouds and rain, now there is sun.
Okay, that line was a bit much and over dramatic.
I got carried away for a moment. Can you blame me, I'm a long-time O's fan too.
Not only did I see a team at its worst, my job was to ask why they were so bad. Every night it seemed.
Then August 3rd arrived.
Birdland is now a place for hope and optimism. No kool aid involved, just telling it like it is.