Something Magic Happens

e-mail Pete

One week in the books and the Orioles sit in first place. They have offered a surprisingly pleasant start to the season, riding a four game win streak and collecting contributions from so many places.

Just a word of caution though, the O’s had four game win streaks twice last April. They even rode a six game streak last May. I think we all remember how that turned out. I share this because a few delusional fans think this team will actually battle for first throughout the season.

That said, you can’t help but notice a different feeling about this team. Many malcontents are gone and those that remained seem genuinely changed.

Melvin Mora brooded like a prom queen runner up the last two seasons, griping about managers and teammates alike. That from a guy who signed a nice fat contract extension.

Now he embraces the role of elder statesman and teacher, working with the Orioles kiddie corps with a smile on his face.

In laugh out loud fashion, after the Birds 4th consecutive win on Sunday, Kevin Millar cranked up the song Orioles Magic in the clubhouse.

Reports say the players all chimed in, somewhat mocking the hackneyed but catchy tune, and somewhat mocking themselves.

That’s where we see the difference. For a decade, this team took itself too seriously. They weren’t a player or two away from contending with New York and Boston. They just acted like it.

Sunday they displayed humility through self deprecation. And that’s the most refreshing act at Camden Yards since Cal Ripken Jr. signed autographs into the wee hours of the night, night after night.

These guys know they’re still a few years out, that some of their key components are playing in Frederick and Bowie. But they also believe they will compete right now, that the days of embarrassing themselves like last August are behind them.


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