Don't count the O's out — even without Markakis

September 11, 2012

Here we are into the second week of September, and for the first time in 15 years the ball club's perennial stench has been trumped by that of the Inner Harbor.

We have competitive baseball here, in the most talent-laden baseball league on earth, battling division foes like the Yankees and the Rays. Buck Showalter is part father-figure, part baseball shaman, and part psychiatrist, pushing all the right buttons. His acumen for the game is stultifying. He recently sat catcher Matt Weiters for a midweek game, replacing him with his backup, weak-hitting Taylor Teagarden. According to this mystifying script, Mr. Teagarden hit a crucial home run to once again make Mr. Showalter look like the Manager of the Ages.

On Saturday night fans watched in sadness as Nick Markakis was plunked on the thumb by a C.C. Sabbathia fastball. The post-game news revealed a broken thumb bone; he will be out for six weeks or longer. Ouch, O's fans wailed.

Do I seem like a worried O's fan? No, I'm not, because we have an absolute perfect manager for this club and for the look-at-me-now, feared Orioles. I have a gut feeling that Mr. Showalter will have this team dedicate the rest of the season to the loss of the consummate professional Nick Markakis, a gifted and respected teammate.

Watch out, Orioles opponents. This team is no longer a collection of players who could not produce much excitement at the ball park. This is different, much different. Mr. Showalter deserves a large chunk of credit for what is happening here. I believe the fun has just begun!

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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