SOTBSports: A Small Dose of Oriole Magic

Is it safe to enjoy Orioles baseball yet?

That’s a question I’ve asked myself this season. While the 2019 season has had its share of head-scratching moments—the botched double play against Cleveland comes to mind— the team has played with an energy they didn’t have last season. Don’t get me wrong: I miss Cap10 and Manny like the rest of you out there. This team literally hits different versus the 2017 or 2018 edition, even when the frustration mounts.

...and there’ve been some frustrating moments.

Perhaps it’s the proverb-esque mantra of wins and losses not mattering as much, as long as people are growing and are enjoying the game again. Perhaps it’s because Chris Davis has shown glimpses of his former masher self (after going what seemed like 0-for-100 to end 2018 and begin 2019). Perhaps it’s because former Rule 5 picks and international slot money trades are paying dividends this year like never before. I don’t know; I’m no expert.

Whatever it is, I find myself having faith for the future. Now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Orioles aren’t World Series contenders yet. This rebuild will be painful at times. We saw that with the mass exodus of modern-day Oriole legends being traded for prospects and, at times, what felt like spare parts.

Some Orioles fans to a few of the 2018 trade returns thus far.

But they’ve gone a long way in a short period of time to reinvent themselves as a scrappy team who could surprise you, win-loss record be damned. Thankfully, they gave up their homer-first mentality grown through the Showalter years. It was fun, but it was never going to be sustainable. This season’s has been exciting to the point where I’ve found myself cheering when winning is a pipe dream. Maybe I’m just a diehard. I mean, I was here when Larry Bigbie was the Orioles’ biggest name and I still found myself at Camden Yards at least once a year.

All I know is this: the 2019 Baltimore Orioles are determined to win more than 45 games and, for that, we have no choice but to cheer them on. Yes, even when they piss us off with a blown lead or botch a double play. Now, if only they could do something about their bullpen.

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