Saying goodbye to the 2012 season

In the end, even very late in a series where the Orioles hit so little, they still had a chance. In that eighth inning, with the season hanging in the balance and the outlook not looking so good, they were still just one hit away.

So close.

Still, losing yesterday - even to the Yankees - beats what the past 14 Octobers felt like. The Orioles took us on an amazing ride this season and provided memories to last a lifetime.

I loved this quote from this column by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

"I think we'll be remembered as the team that brought baseball back to the proud city of Baltimore," Darren O'Day said. "It's such a great fan base there and they're hungry for good baseball, and this is the team that raised that expectation again. We didn't end where we wanted. But I sure as hell think we're on our way."

You probably only have a season like this once, one where you pretty much go from bottom to top or near it, stunning the critics and surprising even your own fans along the way. Believe it or not, the 2013 Orioles will start the year as contenders and a team with expectations. We'll see how that feels when the time comes.

After six months of, as Buck Showalter would say, "making it not matter," when it came to the Orioles' payroll being dwarfed by New York's, maybe they couldn't completely overcome that. CC Sabathia is a $23 million dollar pitcher with about 100 innings of postseason experience under his belt.

Sabathia said after the game there was a time earlier in his career where he might not have been able to channel his emotions in such a big game. That comment probably speaks somewhat to the lack of playoff experience of some of the hitters he got out in this series. The Orioles may have just had too much want to and they pressed at the bat. But next time they'll have this experience to draw from.

At least this offseason, hoping for a next time is not some far away dream.

The O's blogs here at MASNsports.com don't shut down now. There will be fewer of them but you can plan on seeing fresh material here just about every day. Soon we'll turn the focus to the hot stove league, which some fans like about as much as the American League. So keep coming back for more.

In the minutes after last night's game, I was trying to think about what to post on Twitter to signify that the end had come. Here is the first thing that came to my mind and it applied back in May, later in August, yesterday, today and it will apply 20, 30, 40 years from now.

It was an honor to cover the 2012 Baltimore Orioles.

You have to see this: Take a few minutes to watch this video shot by Joey Glauber of our MASNsports.com staff as the O's arrived home last night.

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