A Winning Season for the Baltimore Orioles

By Lance Rinker
Baltimore Orioles Bird Mascot
Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

With last night’s 9-5 victory over the Oakland Athletics, the Baltimore Orioles have done something else they haven’t done since 1997 – post a winning record.

The strange thing about all of this is that this is something we’ve been expecting for a large chunk of the season and now that it’s here, it gets sort of glazed over. The team is in the middle of a pennant race, a race in which they could overcome the New York Yankees to win the division, so guaranteeing themselves their first winning season in 15 years is already old news as everyone shifts their attention to the pennant race full-time now.

For those of you born before the early 1990s, you are well aware of what this first winning season in such a long period of time means, even if no one wants to acknowledge it because it would feel too much like dwelling now that it’s over. Those of you who were born well after and have never experienced winning baseball in Baltimore: this is what winning feels like – welcome to the fold.

This is one of those things where I’d really love to know what’s going through the minds of guys like Cal Ripken, Brady Anderson and even Mike Mussina. These are just a few of the players who were around for the best of times with this team during the mid-to-late 90’s and were still around for a portion of the worst of times with this team, which means any season after 1997.

How much does it matter to them that this team has finally ended the streak of losing? How much does it mean to them, to the players on this current team and to the fans that Baltimore’s own little “Dynasty of Failure” appears to have finally fallen apart?

Obviously, the goal is far greater than simply posting a winning record because let’s face it, we are way past .500 in our minds at this point. Being just a game behind the Yankees for the division with only a dozen or so games left to play really helps this entire scenario sink in even further.

The Baltimore Orioles are losers no more and we have officially entered into the “Playoffs or Bust Baby” mantra that many of these 2012 Orioles aren’t familiar with.

How sweet it is.

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