I know what you were thinking when the ball was hit to Wilson Betemit with two outs and the bases loaded in the last of the ninth last night. You were thinking that third base has been a disaster for the Orioles on defense this year and now the White Sox hit the ball to the third sacker with the game on the line.
Yikes, anywhere but that!
But Betemit made a very nice play and the Orioles won again to improve their first place record to 7-4.
After 11 games my advice to the Orioles fans is this: relax, enjoy the good start and start to dream bigger.
The 1988 Orioles went 54-107 and it was the worst season the Baltimore Orioles have ever had. Much worse than last year’s team which lost 93 games. The 2007 Tampa Bay Rays went 66-96 and then jumped from worst to first the next season, going 97-65.
So before you say no team could ever move all the way up the standings in one season in the American League East, it’s been done and just a few years ago.
I am not predicting that this Orioles team will be a worst to first bunch. The odds of another 90-plus loss season are much greater. But no one was expecting much of the ‘89 Orioles or ‘08 Rays.
I have never heard more pessimism or doom and gloom about the team than what we heard over the winter. In the end, it all could prove to have been totally justified.
But the early signs that this team is possibly building something special are good. They are that though, just early signs.
It seems many fans can’t enjoy the winning, however long it lasts. They are always waiting for the other shoe to drop and expecting something to go wrong. Maybe that is the end result of 14 years of losing.
If things go wrong this season, there will be plenty of time for criticism, angst, hand wringing and everything we have become used to with the Orioles since 1998. The doom and gloomers are waiting to pounce. The last few days must have been miserable for some of them, but they’ll be heard from again. They get quiet for awhile, but that just gives them a louder voice when the time comes.
Let’s enjoy their quiet and this good start.
No one knows for sure what the next 151 games will bring. That’s why they play the games.