The Story So Far:
This is it guys...we've made it to the end. Yes, its coming to an end sooner than anyone would have liked, but this is going to be it for the Orioles season. It's probably worth noting that not only is it the end for this season, but likely is the end of some kind of era. I'm not sure how you define era, and its hard to say when this one started, but I think its safe to say next year is going to feel a little different. We all know about the free agents that will be leaving, but it'll be different in other ways too. Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, and Kevin Gausman will really start moving into roles as leaders of the team. There's talk Buck may not be back as manager, but may move into the front office somewhere. Maybe Dan Duquette heads somewhere else. I saw a report today that Dave Wallace is expected to leave as pitching coach. Sunday will definitely be the end of this season, but will it be the end of more?
The Yankees are headed to the playoffs. As the first Wild Card team, they're likely looking at hosting the game against whoever comes in second in the AL West. By the way, if before the season started you picked two teams coming out of that division and neither one to be the Mariners, A's or Angels (who may still make it)...can you tell me who'd take in Eagles/Redskins this weekend and would you lay the points?
Friday: TBD vs. Wei-Yin Chen
The Yankees haven't announced a starter yet, likely because they don't know if they're going to have anything to play for. Could Chen be making his last start as an Oriole? I hope not, but kind of hard to see it playing out otherwise.
Saturday: TBD vs. TBD
Neither team has announced a starter for Saturday's game, which honestly may not be played. I suppose that's true for the other games this weekend as well. The weather forecast is terrible and that's even before the hurricane may or may not get here. I like the hype around hurricanes more than I like the actual storm. For a few days it changes things up a bit...its all anyone can talk about, there's the constant updates on which way the storm will break. Then a tree falls on your house and you want nothing more than to go back to a time when that didn't happen. Anyway, if it does happen I expect Tillman to pitch.
Sunday: TBD vs. TBD
Again! I guess I'd expect Ubaldo Jimenez to start. Since MiGo came back to fill that spot in the rotation, Jimenez should be ready. I suppose its also possible he pitches on Saturday and Tillman pitches on Sunday. Its unlikely to matter though - I expect both days to be against the Yankees' B-team. We saw what happened when the Blue Jays did that. The Yankees are likely to be doing a lot of the same.
- If the Yankees have that first Wild Card locked up and the Orioles are out of it, the story of the weekend will likely be the weather. That's already true this week with multiple games being postponed or delayed because of rain and there's no sign things are getting any better. Not to mention, if one of those beat reports has to sit through another rain delay, there might be some sort of revolt played out on Twitter. I wonder what they hate more - rain delays or delayed flights.
- Have tickets this weekend? Me too. I didn't pick them, they came as part of my package, which I expect will be the case for a lot of people. But I also bet a lot of people looked at the calendar earlier this year and thought this would be an important series to be at. In years past you may have expected this situation to lead a flood of Yankees fan in Baltimore, but I can't imagine that will be the case given the weather. There will still be plenty I'm sure, but probably not as much as usual. If I do end up going on Saturday though, I'm totally rooting for a long rain delay where they invite everyone down to the lower level. Do you see that picture at the top of the article? I don't care if its snowing out there - if I get to watch major league teams play and I'm one of only 50 people in the place, that has to be fun.
- If you happen to still be catching any crap from fans of teams who will be playing next week, its probably best to remind them that around this time last year, the Orioles were talking about getting to 100 wins and hosting the Tigers in the ALDS, while wondering who would win the A's/Angels series, since there was clearly no chance the Royals would beat the A's. The point is, while some things are constant (will the Cardinals ever not be good?) most things change...and if you think the Astros, Cubs, Rangers, Mets, and Pirates will all be in the playoffs next year, well...I would definitively not like your advice on the games this weekend.
- Hardy has been playing with a torn labrum? I guess since it's in his non-throwing shoulder I could see it. I had a torn labrum last year and went six months before having the surgery, and that was after probably walking around with it for another six months before finally getting it checked out. I could understand him not wanting to get the surgery too - its been more than a year for me and I can still feel it sometimes. Of course, I'd expect his trainers to be slightly better than mine.
I predict that one of these games will be cancelled with no makeup due to weather and no one having anything to play for. As for the other two? Eh, let's say they split.