Is the answer to this question yes? Has the 2013 season has been tougher on the Orioles fans than the 2012 season?
To me it seems much tougher.
These two seasons are just very, very different. Last season seemed magical and, at times, almost too good to be true. The Orioles hadn't won anything since 1997 and suddenly and surprisingly the O's found themselves in a pennant race.
Then, as some feared it was only a matter of time before the other shoe dropped, something happened. The Orioles kept winning and even had the best record in the majors the last two months.
But there was no way they'd win at Texas pitching Joe Saunders against Yu Darvish. Except they did. Losing to the Yankees last October ended it, but didn't ruin the fun of the magical ride.
So why is it so different in 2013? Expectations.
Some members of the national media even picked the Orioles to win the American League East. How could they and ruin the fans anger at them for overlooking the home team? Yep, they did.
Where last year was magical and full of hopes and dreams, this year has been burdened by expectations. I think you can even feel it in the clubhouse. That is still a place with plenty of high-character guys but the players themselves even seem to feel the burden of expectations at times.
The magic of 2012 was never going to be able to be duplicated. We were all reintroduced to winning baseball in Baltimore and it was amazing.
This year, the fans came with greater expectations and higher hopes. They bought into the team emotionally, maybe more than ever, at least more than in a long time.
They Buckled up. They bought more tickets. They bought team jerseys. They watched MASN and came to outlets like this in huge numbers. It created more tension and pressure.
Maybe in a city like New York where fans are used to winning every year this is no big deal, but for O's fans this is new territory.
With that tension and pressure and those expectations we've see some real interesting postgame comments around the blog and on Twitter. Some fans, probably a very, very small segment, lash out in almost nasty ways at the very players they profess to love. Maybe learning to deal with baseball disappointment is new to us too. The fans care, even if some express that in ways you or I never would.
That sure beats 15 years of losing.
What is your take?: Has 2013 been much different for you than last year? How different has it been to be a fan this season? Are there more expectations for the club which make losses and disappointments even harder to take?