Some may remember from 1969 until the early 1980s, the Orioles were the dominant team in the American League (As fans may disagree, but I think the numbers speak for themselves.) The bullpen was solid, the pitching staff top notch. In 1971, the Os pulled the rare feat of having 4 20-game winners. Only the White Sox in 1920 had equaled that feat (and that was with a dead ball). (And with today's coddled arms, I doubt we see anyone ever pitch 300 innings again, never win 30 games again, nor ever have so many 20 game winners on a team again. Coddled arms indeed.)

Earl Weaver was in his prime, the teams were built around pitching and defense (not surprising considering you had Brooks Robinson, Mark Belanger, Paul Blair, Jim Palmer, and Rick Dempsey on the field at different times during that period.). There was the some great clutch hitting, some base stealing (the Os have never been much of a base-stealing team), and some an inspired use of a deep bench. Then Peter Angelos bought the team, and what can you say. It's the anti-Midas touch. The last few years (decades?) have seen the Os inhabit the cellar in the AL East, though it's not for lack of opportunities, perhaps the best example of which was hiring Davey Johnson as manager. Why Angelos fired the man will remain one of those angelic mysteries of Orioles history.

Now it seems Camden Yards is getting more and more crowded, the Oriole bullpen has pulled its weight and then some, and there are some signs of late that the hitting may make a showing this year yet. The Os are solidly over 0.500 for the first time in too many seasons. They're in the race for the wild card spot, and perhaps more significant, they may yet catch the Yanks for the Division lead. In any case, the Birds are on the Wing, and all is right with the world. To quote the immortal Chuck Thompson, "Ain't the beer cold Miss Agnes!" Come to think of it, I'll have some National Boh and some crab cakes for dinner. Watching the game against Detroit, of course.

"Buzz at Camden Yards is for the Orioles Again"





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