When a team is good, year in and year out, the printing of postseason tickets is just another part of the baseball season. There is nothing special about it all and it may even be a chore in some years, an added expense to be borne temporarily until the team does not end up making the playoffs at all.
The Orioles have not been so good for so long that it has stopped being awesome when they start planning for postseason tickets in a given year. They have started sending out information to season ticket holders on Thursday about purchasing postseason plans.
It’s been four years now since the first time the Orioles did this. The wild exuberance of the closing stretch of the 2012 season was made even more pronounced once they started printing the playoff tickets. It was one more of those signs to tell ourselves, “Wow, this might actually happen!” And really, even if they didn’t make the postseason after all that year, there would have still been a lot of excitement just in having broken the streak of losing seasons.
Expectations are higher now, and rightfully so. Just being in contention isn’t as exciting. While the Orioles are, right now on August 25, in a playoff spot, that doesn’t mean they’re going to make the playoffs at all. It doesn’t mean that there will be any home postseason games at Camden Yards even if they do make the playoffs.
Right now, the Orioles are looking at one game on the road against Boston or Toronto just to get into the real playoffs. They also still have to hold off any number of teams who might surge up into that wild card spot from below. The O’s enter Thursday’s play three games up, which is a lot, but not THAT much, not with 36 games still to play.
I would much rather the Orioles make the playoffs than not. I’d really love to see them find a way to win the division. But it hasn’t been so long that I’ve forgotten the dark years, either. After all, there was a solid decade prior to the 2012 season, consisting at that point in time of the entirety of my adult life, where the idea of late August having a contending Orioles team was little more than a wild flight of fancy.
The Orioles are a good team, whether or not they end up making the postseason. What a thrill that still is to say. The Orioles are good! The usual array of preseason pundit predictions have once again been blown sky high when it comes to forecasting this team. The O’s were just OK last year and many thought their offseason moves made them worse. Those people were wrong, again.
Of course the Orioles are printing postseason tickets. That’s what good teams do. Maybe some day that will stop being exciting. I think we would all be pleased if that became so regular as to just be part of the routine, unnoticed and uninteresting to anyone. For now it’s still exciting. Playoff tickets! Just don’t look at the price tag. Success is expensive.