1 Orioles

Dream season goes on as 9-13 Joe Saunders, who started the year in the minors, plays the hero in the Wild Card game, sending the O's to the American League Division Series against the Yankees-a fate predicted by no one except maybe Matt Wieters' mom. And even she wasn't sure the pitching would hold up.

2 Dream Act

Thousands of students turned out at College Park over the weekend to rally "Yes" votes for Ballot Question 4, which would allow children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition if they went to Maryland high schools, file federal tax returns, and meet other criteria. The issue has been overshadowed by sexier referenda about gambling and same-sex marriage, but polls indicate steady support for the measure because, hey, every kid deserves a chance to dream-or at least to skip class and pull tubes like BCPR did.

3 Baltimore Police Department

In-custody death of Anthony Anderson ruled a homicide by blunt-force trauma, even though cops initially said he choked on drugs during arrest. Add that to 11 police-involved shootings this year, and BPD has some explaining to do. On the upside, new chief Anthony Batts has met with Anderson's family, hand-delivering the autopsy-a move that rankled the police union; named and suspended the three officers involved, including one who has previously been shot in the line of duty; and promised a full investigation. Cops and Anderson deserve nothing less.

4 Martin O’Malley

In between Obama-surrogate/name-recognition-building stops on CNN and Fox News, Gov managed to do some state business, announcing an effort to get all state electric-rate payers to chip in a dollar or two each month for "grid hardening"-i.e., making electricity as reliable as it already ought to be in a first-world country. We already pay for that and don't get it, leading to many BGE customers' clenched-jaw hardening. Here's hoping Gov doesn't need Maryland in order to win the electoral college in 2016.



5 Baltimore City Schools

External audit finds schools in financial chaos, double-paying for overtime, paying millions in contracted work that may not have been done, paying $336,000 in bonuses to workers who hadn't earned them, and losing 1,400 computers, among a laundry list of disasters. Imagine the horrors we might discover if all city departments were regularly audited, as they are in other big cities. Il Mayore would rather we not find out.