This being New Year’s Eve, it’s probably appropriate to look back on 2016 and some of the moments the Baltimore Orioles provided. And there were quite a few, starting with their Opening Day win over Minnesota that featured two rain delays. The Birds found several games rained out in April, which pushed their schedule later on down the line.
But if I had to remember one thing from the 2016 season, it would be the stretch run. Even from the perspective of a writer covering the team, August and September were flat out exciting times in Birdland. We literally had five or six teams in the American League bunched together vying for wild card spots or division titles.
Part of that stretch run was taking three of four from their regional rivals, the Washington Nationals. These two teams always play each other tough, but as has usually been the case the Birds came out on top. The O’s also took two-of-three in San Francisco, with the final game of the series being perhaps one of the biggest wins of the season. The Birds came back from six runs down to defeat San Francisco and take the series in dramatic fashion.
A series win in Detroit also aided the cause, potentially ending Detroit’s playoff hopes. However it was taking two-of-three in New York in the final series of the regular season that sealed the Orioles’ fate. They clinched the final playoff spot at Yankee Stadium, and went onto Toronto for the Wild Card game.
Obviously we know how that ended up. But in the end it’s the fact that they made it to the post season that really counted. And as I said, those final two months of the season were pure excitement almost everyday.
With that said, at midnight tonight it’ll be time to turn the calendar. 2016 will be history across the board. Hope springs eternal.