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Kyle Gibson had to wait to do the sprinkler and hilarity ensued

This team might have some good chemistry

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Atlanta Braves
James McCann made Kyle Gibson wait to do the sprinkler.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

You never know what you’re going to see when you sit down to watch a baseball game. That’s part of what makes it fun. Almost no one would have expected, with Max Fried and his 0.45 ERA set to start for Atlanta, that the Orioles would rain down runs on this Braves team. Or with Dean Kremer and his 6.67 ERA starting against the Braves, that things would be fun and go well. They were fun. They did go well.

This is not a complete recap of Friday night’s victory. This is a recap of one very silly and very amazing moment that happened in the aftermath of Anthony Santander hitting a grand slam to give the Orioles an 8-1 lead off of reliever Joe Jiménez. After this, the night’s designated hitter, James McCann, grounded a ball that snuck into right field and McCann, perhaps feeling a heat check after the grand slam, challenged notoriously strong-armed outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. by trying to burn that single into a double.

McCann was beaten by the throw but avoided the tag, in the judgment of the umpire. As you know by now, this means that the pitchers in the dugout load up with some water to be the sprinklers. However, the Braves challenged the play, believing that McCann might have been tagged. That set up... this.

Starting pitcher Kyle Gibson has emptied his cup. He clearly cannot dispose of the water in any way other than the sprinkler or else it would be a jinx. The whole rest of the rotation is there, signaling that the replay should end with a safe call. MASN’s cameras, sensing an incredible moment, stayed focused on this quartet entirely.

After about 20 seconds, Gibson starts to get the kind of jumpiness that my dad would call “the pee pee dance,” except in Gibson’s case he’s just got a mouthful of water and he wants to make sure people know why he’s not talking. For about a minute, they crack each other up, and then, finally, the umpires make the rule and confirm the call on the field is kept: McCann has gotten the double.

There’s just one problem: After all of that drama, McCann didn’t do the sprinkler! They desperately tried to signal to him, except he was removed from the game for a pinch runner, so he trotted into the dugout without ever noticing the whole rotation trying to get his attention.

Finally, at long last, only after McCann was right in front of Gibson and his rotationmates, he stopped, did the sprinkler, and was sprayed by the by now well-hydrated Gibson. Broadcasters Kevin Brown and Ben McDonald, riveted by this drama as much as the rest of us, let out gleeful, triumphant yells as the saga came to its epic conclusion.

This event, in and of itself, is not sufficient to prove that there’s something amazing happening with this Orioles. But for anyone who’s looking for a sign that something special might be going on - that there’s a team full of guys who are in this thing together and they’re going to find a way to exceed the sum of their parts - well, you aren’t going to get many better signs than this.