Orioles Clinch First Playoff Berth Since 1997
The Los Angeles Angels lost to the Rangers, 8-7, during the second game of their doubleheader tonight, giving the Orioles their first berth in the American League playoffs since 1997.
The Angels came back to beat Texas during the first game earlier this afternoon, leaving the Orioles (92-67) to wait to find out whether they were in the postseason. The Orioles could still win the AL East and also have the best record in baseball. They are currently tied with the Yankees for the lead in the division. The Rangers have a 93-66 record, just one game ahead of the Orioles in the AL.
The Orioles watched the Angels come back to win the first game after the Birds beat the Red Sox this afternoon. The Orioles returned to their clubhouse to see it covered in plastic. The champagne celebration never followed. Delaying the postseason did not dampen the team's spirits.
"You're in, you're in," said Adam Jones, the team's most valuable player. "Nobody cares. Home, road, we could clinch on the plane. We're going to party somewhere."
The Orioles were likely doing their celebration in Tampa Bay, where the club flew this evening.
The club has nearly completed a remarkable turnaround. Last year, the club finished in the cellar of the AL East and continued a 14-season streak of losing records.
"They're sincere," manager Buck Showalter said. "What you see is what you get. There's no phoniness. There's no divas. They sincerely like the city, the ballpark, the fans, and it's been a very quiet burn about getting the Baltimore Orioles relevant again."
Posted Sept. 30, 2012