Like the All-Star Games, the polls leave behind a touch of optimism (and little more than a second guess), so it’s probably coincidental that the Maryland primary fell on the same day as Major League Baseball’s Midsummer Classic this year. Both events provide an opportunity to measure things.
But while the result of the primary vote is critically important to the state, the result of the game at Dodger Stadium is no big deal to Orioles fans. This is because the 2022 franchise has already made him proud. How? By doing something many of us didn’t expect all season long: they’ve been winning games. not all of them. Not even most of them. But much more than last season or most of the season of late.
Even the most casual sports fans have heard of the 10-game winning streak the Birds recently put together, the best streak by a team of this century. But the real miracle is O’s overall record of 46 wins versus 46 losses. What is good at playing .500 balls? Last year the team was 28 and 61 at the break. In fact, the 2021 Orioles didn’t win their 46th game until September 15, en route to a 52–110 season, the worst of the franchise (behind a terrible 47–115 finish three years earlier, which was a Five worst in MLB history and 61 games from first place). So yes, what has improved for a team – and we say this with as much affection as possible – stinks joint.
There are several lessons here that should be highlighted. The first is that the Orioles didn’t turn the corner overnight (if they really did). Under executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias, whom the team hired after that miserable 2018 season, they tried to rebuild the least lucrative way, acquiring young talent, avoiding costly free agent signings, and assembling a team. Where yoga can prove to be greater than its share. Individually, players do not dominate the American League stat sheet and do not rank high in subsequent All-Star voting. But collectively they have set a record that legitimately puts them in the running for a wildcard berth.
(All of this acquired Jackson Holiday, the son of seven-time All-Star outfielder Matt Holiday, who topped the MLB Draft last Sunday night, some icing on the cake. The shortstop is out of high school, so Camden Yards is on the lineup cards It may take a while for his name to be imprinted, but his achievements so far – and bloodline – suggest he is money in the bank, the next Adley Ratsman.)
The second lesson is that he stuck to his plan despite all the doubts.
The third is that they seem to have neglected to distract. o Last years were terrible, yet Mr. Elias didn’t budge. And the team made headlines this summer for an ongoing family feud and lawsuit involving Peter Angelos’ son over control of the team (and much of the family). Then again, it seems business as usual at the clubhouse, where hitting a homerun gives you the honor of wearing a giant chain and O’s logo around the neck. It seems that people are having fun and enjoyment in each other’s company. This is a good sign in any organization.
How much better could Baltimore be if the victors at the ballot box could take a cue from the Orioles and work in a similar way to fight gun violence, upgrade schools, and provide economic opportunities? Keeping the leadership on the same page – from prosecutors to the mayor and state legislators to the governor – will certainly foster equity and create a better functioning city government. With O’sn, progress will not happen overnight, and actions will likely be criticized. Of course there will be distraction. But there will certainly be hope for the future.
Meanwhile, all this victory and excitement makes the Orioles just plain fun to watch. He returned to action Friday night against the first-place New York Yankees at Camden Yards. A happy night at the ballpark gets our vote every time. And the increased domestic presence also helps the city to make some progress with city renovation.
The editorial writers of the Baltimore Sun present opinions and analysis on relevant news and issues for readers. They operate separately from the newsroom.