After blowing two saves and losing in extra innings, I have to say it, it looks the O's of old are back. No longer are leads safe, especially small leads. Two heartbreaks in a row and I feel almost comforted. I needed this reality check. I was starting to hope and dream of an over .500 season, maybe even a race for the playoffs. I had forgotten my prediction that the O's would struggle to win 50 games this year. And I had almost forgotten the pain that they could so easily inflict on me.
But my optimism is still there. Tonight is the official halfway point of the season for the O's. And it is not mathmatically possible for them to be below .500. At the beginning of the season I would have laughed at you had you told me they would have won 40 games before the All Star break. But they have already surpassed that mark. I would have snickered if you told me a group of no name misfits would come together with amazing chemistry and make the city I love believe in them once again. And I would have stared blankly at you if you had told me a no name pitcher who never even learned to bend the brim of his cap would be the subject of trade rumors because of he ranks 2nd in the AL in saves.
But all that has happened. Which just goes to show that none of us can predict the future or really has the slightest clue whats going on. I mean, the Rays have the best record in baseball, the Rays. What I do know now is that I need to remember this is a rebuilding year. I can't hold the Orioles to some magically high standard because the first half of the season was better than I expected. Yes, I do expect them to be somewhat decent for the rest of the season, but what I really want is for them to be even better next year. And the year after that.
I don't want to start next season thinking that the 50 win mark will be hard to reach. I don't want to think that no lead is safe. I don't want to put too much stock in this season and deal away young prospects for big names to be a little instant gratification and immediate gain. Big names haven't really worked that well for us in the past. But all of a sudden a group of guys that most people in Baltimore couldn't name at the beginning of the season are winning. So lets stick with them.
All I want is to believe that we can get better, that this really is the start of new era in Baltimore baseball. I want to believe that while the O's might have been playing over their heads for the first half, that next year this record won't be over their heads. This is a team that believes in itself. So I'm going to believe in them too. I'm just not going to get my expectations to high. But I am going to keep hoping. And I hope the rest of Baltimore will keep hoping and supporting them too.