It was a season that Batlimore Orioles fans won’t soon forget. 2012 saw the Orioles win 93 games and make the MLB postseason for the first time since 1997. The most amazing part of this teams success is their uncanny ability to win close games as they were 29-9 in games decided by one-run. Not to mention, the Orioles were an incredible 16-2 in extra-innings games in 2013.
When a team with the talent of the Orioles goes on the kind of run they went on last season, it usually means an extension for the guy in charge is imminent. Buck Showalter worked some magic with this team and right after his team won 93 games, the manager was given a contract that extends into the 2018 season. For the first time in his tenure, Showalter will head into opening day with realistic expectations to take home the AL East.
Whoever wins the AL East crown this season will likely be the favorites to win the World Series. It will not be easy as the Toronto Blue Jays have improved mightily and the usual suspects of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are not going down quietly.
It has been remarkable to see this team transform with players like Adam Jones making the plunge from good to great, but they are not done manufacturing young talent as Manny Machado is the next big thing in a Orioles uniform. Machado is 20-years-old and has turned heads already hitting six home runs in his rookie campaign last year.
The Tampa Bay Rays had a third basemen who burst onto the scene back in 2008 and Machado is already drawing comparisons to Evan Longoria. Machado will be big if the O’s hope to return to the postseason again in 2013.