Buck Showalter has taken the city of Baltimore from a true football town that cared only about their beloved Ravens, to a town that has a passion and hope for the newly renovated Baltimore Orioles.
Last season’s playoff push was something a bit foreign to those fans, but certainly welcomed after more than a decade of losing seasons that left even the most die-hard fanatics ready for football season. Since Showalter has taken the helm, things have changed.
The team is winning.
The players are producing more than ever.
Coaching is finally where it needs to be.
So, where does the team currently stand? Owning their respectable 72-63 record heading into the crucial month of September, the mix of veterans and young ballplayers feel confident in their abilities and ready to surge.
If you follow Adam Jones on Twitter, you’ll quickly find his passion for the game and the fans of Baltimore evident. He wants the fanfare for the Orioles to compare to their NFL counterpart.
It can happen, but it’s going to take a bit of heart, passion, and maybe a bit of luck.
The offense’s biggest knock has been the lack of productive hitting with runners in scoring position. That stat alone was the reason several key series have been lost and ultimately the thing that took them out of the AL East race… for now.
For Jones and the offense, the RISP numbers have to rise. With the pitching that the staff is capable of and the obvious power that the entire lineup brings, the clutch hitting is the aspect of the game that can make the Orioles perfect.
Of course, Jim Johnson has continued to be the thorn in the O’s side. Blowing save after save with the sinker that hasn’t been sinking, it’s time for Johnson to find something that propels him to perfection the rest of the year. Sitting three games out of the wild card race, the last thing Baltimore needs is untrustworthy pitching in the 9th.
It’s going to be a journey in this dreaded month of September– where dreams are crushed and fans adjust from one sport to the other. It’s the Orioles chance to prove that they are the real “Birds of Baltimore”. The skill is there, the heart is there, and the coaching will take this team down to the very last strike.
Who will step up and make a difference?
Will the Orioles make it to the postseason?
We’re all about to find out.