Written for your enjoyment by: Raff
Buck Showalter is cautious to take all of the credit. Cautious that maybe what we've seen in his first week as manager of the Orioles is only a mirage. Cautious to know that at any moment now it might all blow up in his face.
But let's be honest no one, least of all Oriole fans, could have imagined his first week as manager as being so productive. Even if those fans would have daydreamed about a successful first week, they would have hoped for four wins or maybe five. Certainly not the six that Showalter and his Orioles have provided.
Buck has been quick to pass the Buck. Quick to point out that he's got "a few more bullets to fire". That Brian Roberts wasn't available for the two previous managers, that Felix Pie wasn't healthy, that some of the bullpen parts were not available. But no one is listening. The Orioles have won six of seven, and for the first time in forever August has been fun for an Oriole fan.
It was only last year that Dave Trembley told us he expected the Orioles to be playing meaningful games this time of year. He certainly didn't mean meaningful in the sense of trying to keep the games behind less than the total wins. But that was the fate the Orioles were wrestling with when Buck took over, and it may again be the fate they wrestle with as the season wears on.
The fact remains this. I'm an Orioles fan. Always have been always will be. But the days of actually getting excited about a game in August are pretty much a thing of the past. Heck, I've based success the past several years on whether or not the Birds are still in it by the time I stop working 18-hour days on Jackie Robinson Day. This year they were long done.
But since Rafael Palmeiro was suspended and the Orioles train-wrecked to the cellar a few years ago something hasn't been right. The team was never as good as it seemed it should be or maybe better said worse than they should have been.
So here we are at the start of August playing good baseball. The pitching has been better than good since Showalter arrived. I don't know if he has had anything to do with that or not. And it has been fun. I don't know if its been meaningful or not. But it certainly has provided more excitement in this one week of August than the last several put together.
And it has me thinking that maybe just maybe....real meaningful games in August aren't that far away.