We’ve arrived at bandwagon season, and everyone seems to be an Orioles fan. That consists of me — an individual by no means identified for his or her professional evaluation of sportsball.
Doesn’t matter as a result of in my home we at the moment are firmly entrenched in Birdlandia. My husband Todd has made room for me on the sofa as he alternates between yelling on the TV and answering my questions concerning the ins and outs of the sport.
If you, like me, are simply setting eyes on MASN or Oriole Park however are decided to atone for the whole lot you’ve missed about Baltimore’s residence workforce, right here’s a information to the Orioles for dummies.
Why are they referred to as The Birds? The workforce shares the title of Maryland’s state chook, the Baltimore oriole, which has wonderful plumes of orange and black.
What’s this rebuild factor? In 2018, after a skunk of a season, the Orioles determined to overtake the franchise — electing to commerce seasoned gamers in favor of up-and-comers for a “rebuild.” So they minimize down the previous wooden, basically, and began over from scratch. It took 5 years. Money issues right here, however I’m not dumb sufficient to get into that.
Is that why the gamers are so younger? Well, positive, however they’re not the youngest workforce within the league (Pittsburgh holds that honor). According to Statista, the Orioles’ common age is 28.2. But a few of the workforce’s standouts this season are a bit youthful. For instance, Ryan Mountcastle is 26; Adley Rutschman is 25; and Gunnar Henderson is 22.
Who’s the supervisor? Brandon Hyde, who turns 50 on Oct. 3, the day the MLB postseason begins. Happy birthday, coach.
Who’s the celebrity? That’s the factor about this workforce: It’s a galaxy of stars — and also you’ll discover it onerous to choose only one. But Henderson and Rutschman appear to all the time shine.
What’s the cope with John Angelos? Not sufficient area to get into all of that. Suffice to say, there isn’t any deal but between the CEO and chairman of the Orioles and his landlord, the Maryland Stadium Authority.
So the O’s haven’t renewed their lease? Don’t get distracted. The deadline is Dec. 31. Plenty of time to take pleasure in a World Series.
How many video games left within the common season? After Wednesday, there can be 4 video games remaining — all at residence in opposition to the Red Sox.
What does the magic quantity imply? The magic quantity is a approach to calculate how shut a workforce is to clinching their division. The Orioles are within the American League East, so the quantity relies on how their wins/losses stack up in opposition to the closest competitor’s wins/losses in the identical division — of their case, the Tampa Bay Rays. The quantity drops by one anytime the Orioles win, and once more by one anytime the Rays lose.
But didn’t they already clinch? There’s clinching after which there’s clinching. The O’s have “clinched” a spot within the playoffs, however additionally they need to be the most effective of their division as a result of then they get some bonus postseason goodies, like mechanically advancing to the second spherical and enjoying fewer video games.
And how do the playoffs work? Put apart the month of October. If they preserve successful, the Orioles can be busy. If they don’t clinch the AL East, they should play wild card video games. That’s adopted by a division collection after which a league championship collection after which lastly, the World Series.
Have the Orioles ever received a World Series? Has a ball ever been referred to as a strike? Yes (1966)! Yes (1970)! and Yes (1983)! The workforce has three rings.
What is Oriole magic? It’s how the workforce can rally from behind and are available out on high. The saying dates to the Seventies, and there’s even a music about it — “Orioles Magic (Feel It Happen)” — written by Walt Woodward.
Who is Mr. Splash? He’s the man in Section 86 — The Bird Bath — who sprays followers with water, a brand new function this season. But we don’t know his actual title, and, at this level, let’s preserve it a thriller.
Is the beer chilly? I believe you imply “Ain’t the beer cold!” — the signature exclamation of the late and legendary Orioles broadcaster, Chuck Thompson, who used it on-air when issues on the sphere have been going our means.
Are issues going our means? The O’s are on monitor to win 100 video games for the primary time since 1980. Plus they might win the workforce’s first AL pennant in 40 years and attain the World Series. So issues appear fairly hopeful. To put it like Thompson, Ain’t the beer chilly? Why sure it’s.
Michelle Deal-Zimmerman is senior content material editor for options and an advisory member of The Sun’s Editorial Board. Her column runs each fourth Wednesday. She will be reached at [email protected].