In past years when the feared yet despised Yankees came to Baltimore in September, Orioles fans' only concern was whether they would be sitting next to a boisterous Yanks fan ("Who expected this?" Sept. 5). The only real hope was that the Orioles fans would be able to muster a higher decibel level than the Yankees fans when the chants began. We have all seen them; they would enter our beloved Camden Yards with their pinstriped jerseys, bold blue hats with the iconic lettering, and their pompous "Got Rings"? T-shirts.
Whether it emanated from divine guidance, fate, or the incredibly bold tactics of team Showalter/Duquette, the patchwork Os are playing like a team on fire. From the fatherly guidance of Mr. Showalter, he has these guys playing at a confidence level that is incredible in on-field results, and those results are bewildering. We hear snippets that these Orioles really enjoy each other's company, both on the field and off. Are you kidding me? My Baltimore Orioles, losers of 14 consecutive seasons, the masters of mediocrity?
There are no more prima donnas such as Albert Belle (despised everyone), Sammy Sosa (runaway ego), or Eric Bedard (self-imposed diva). What a refreshing and truly interesting bunch of ballplayers this is, with Dan Duquette taking obvious risks, proving that former GM Andy MacPhail was much too timid.
(Perhaps Mr. MacPhail skipped out of town to preserve what's left of his baseball legacy.) Whatever it is, Messrs. Showalter and Duquette have pushed all the right buttons this season. Can these guys really be that baseball savvy? It's truly incredible how their talents have molded a winning team again.
I am looking forward to this upcoming home series against the Darth Vaders from Gotham. But the aging Yanks are ripe for the taking, what with accompanying injuries, and inconsistent, sketchy pitching.
I cannot remember when I last enjoyed the "September Itch," but truly, this is the way an Orioles lover should feel this time of the season. What a ride this has been so far. Thanks Mr. Showalter and Mr. Duquette, for making this time of year once again magical and meaningful to a Baltimore baseball fan.
Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham