Wake me up when September Ends

Check that, don’t wake me up.  Don’t wake anyone up in Baltimore who remains bathed in the glory of this Orioles dream season.

It’s 6:30 AM on Monday October, 1st and I sit here at BWI Airport awaiting a flight to Tampa.  It’s a trip I thought I might never make, hitting the road to cover the Orioles (and not a Sarasota spring thing, hoping to find cause to believe the O’s could remain relevant until training camp). 

I spent the last week at Oriole Park watching this surreality show play out as the franchise that could do no right could finally do no wrong.  I saw Camden Yards drenched in Orange as fans watched Chris Davis launch moon shot after moon shot, Matt Wieters making impossible throws to embarrass would be base stealers and Buck Showalter on the bench watching his every decision play out even better than he could have imagined.

The greatest question remains, how in the heck did a team rife with players seemingly better suited for residence at the Island of Misfit Toys, come together for the most enjoyable season in Orioles history.  

I know that description sounds like a stretch, but the great Vince Bagli described it to me that way Sunday and since he’s seen EVERY season of modern Orioles baseball, I feel good in going with it. 

We’ll never have a fully satisfying answer, and that’s why sports are so important to our culture.  Sometimes, it just comes together.  I know we can heap a healthy portion of reason on Buck Showalter.  His resume of turning teams around trumped all his players resumes that said they weren’t good enough.  Career years from Jim Johnson, Adam Jones, Chris Davis of course helped.  But getting not just good, but great play from the likes of Nate McLouth, Miguel Gonzalez, Steve Johnson, teenage wunderkind Manny Machado, by all reason should not have happened.  But it did. 

Here are some photos from the last week I collected, and I look forward to posting many more as this amazing journey continues.

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