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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2012
According to baseball historian Bill Arnold, if these Orioles can win the American League East, they will have accomplished a pretty rare feat. Only nine times in modern baseball history has a team trailed in its division by 10 games or more on July 18 and come back to win the title, with the 1995 Seattle Mariners being the last club to do so (while winning a one-game playoff with the California Angels). The Orioles trailed the Yankees by 10 games on July 18 (and were a half game up on Tampa Bay Rays)
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Peter Schmuck and The Schmuck Stops Here | September 30, 2014
Sorry, Oriole Magic fans, there was nothing supernatural about the way the club ran away from the rest of the American League East this year, even if it does defy logical explanation. They clinched the division title in surprisingly short order with one of baseball's best all-around catchers on the shelf for five months, their Platinum Glove third baseman recovering from another serious knee injury, and last year's most explosive major league hitter shockingly suspended for violating the sport's amphetamine policy.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | February 11, 2013
There's no question that the Toronto Blue Jays have made the most noise throughout baseball this offseason - and that's pushed them from a fourth-place finish in 2012 to division favorites heading into this season. They've added three strong, veteran starting pitchers in R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle. They've added a perennial all-star and one of my favorite players to watch in shortstop Jose Reyes, as well as outfielder Melky Cabrera and infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio to a lineup that already included Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 17, 2014
Here are some quotes from a wild night at Camden Yards -- the Orioles' first division title since 1997. Manager Buck Showalter: "You get older, you want to get a good angle and a good seat and see good people get a return for what they put into it and what they're trying to achieve. And this is a huge step, to get a chance now. We've got to figure out a way to win 11 games. " Showalter on changing his seat in the dugout and ending up next to the plaque of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver in the dugout: “There are some great moments in your life.
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By DAN CONNOLLY | June 1, 2008
Observations, opinions and musings from this week in Major League Baseball. The American League East gets plenty of respect. It has for years. Throughout the majors, the AL East is considered the toughest division to win because that's where baseball's big boys, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, reside. The criticism is that it's top-heavy, with the Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays dragging it down for the past decade. And so the AL Central or National League West would, on occasion, be deemed the best in baseball.
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By Eduardo A. Encina, The Baltimore Sun | August 31, 2012
- Despite Orioles manager Buck Showalter's best efforts to play down the importance of this weekend's three-game series against the New York Yankees, this is by no means your ordinary September trip to the Bronx for the Orioles. After the Orioles met for their advance meeting, something they do before the first game of every series, Showalter's words were simple. “The last thing I told them was, 'Hey, have fun, lets go,'” Showalter said. “And they will. They don't take themselves too seriously.” And then Showalter put the ball - and the Orioles' increasing playoff hopes - in the hand of perhaps his most unassuming player.
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By David Selig and The Baltimore Sun | February 22, 2013
Here's another subplot in the build-up to what should be a free-for-all in the AL East this summer: Almost every team in the division can play the nobody-believed-in-us card. With the exception of maybe the Blue Jays, who generated the most offseason hype this winter, the teams in baseball's deepest division might all enter the season with a chip on their shoulder. Case in point: Yankees first baseman (and Mount St. Joe alum) Mark Teixeira suggesting that his $200 million team is embracing an underdog role this season.
NEWS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | September 1, 2012
NEW YORK -- Pedro Strop's success at the Orioles' set-up man is a major reason why the O's were in position to close the gap in the American League East to a single game Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Manager Buck Showalter admits that Strop's outings sometime offer “a ride,” because he has so much movement on his pitches. But the results are exemplary. He came into Saturday's game with a 1.86 ERA, fifth best among AL relievers. On Saturday, the 27-year-old Strop came so close to another late-inning hold, but instead he was front-and-center in a costly collapse in the Bronx.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | September 5, 2012
TORONTO - Exactly seven weeks ago, the Orioles trailed the division-leading New York Yankees by 10 games. They were lingering just three games over .500. It appeared the O's weren't going to be able to keep pace with the powers of the American League East. Now, the Orioles wake up tied for first place with the reeling Yankees, atop of the baseball's best division in September for the first time in 15 years. The Orioles' resounding 12-0 thumping of the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night at the Rogers Center - combined with the Tampa Bay Rays' 5-2 win over the Yankees - put the O's neck-and-neck with New York with 27 games remaining in the regular season.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | January 22, 2014
For years I've heard the bellyaching about how the Orioles can't compete financially with the big boys in the American League East, specifically the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Well, now it looks like everyone, including the Red Sox, can join hands and sing in protest to those mighty, free-spending Yankees. Not really, of course. Teams are free to spend however they want in the free market that is Major League Baseball. (And there sure is a sense the Orioles could do a lot more with their payroll; see Peter Schmuck's column today )
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | September 17, 2014
The Orioles clinched their first division title since 1997 Tuesday night at Camden Yards, and instead of experiencing it live and as human beings, many of us who were lucky enough to be present soaked it all in through our cell phone screens. Here's a compilation of the best such pictures from Twitter. The moment. http://t.co/3FYsuIacxD (Karl Merton Ferron/ @baltimoresun ) pic.twitter.com/Okqp8FsZGL - Baltimore Sun Sports (@BaltSunSports) September 17, 2014 From earlier, Buck Showalter looks upon all he has made as his team celebrated on infield #orioles pic.twitter.com/ZnvnVUppoV - Jon Meoli (@JonMeoli)
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2014
Somehow, some way, the Orioles are the 2014 American League East champions. With the embattled Ubaldo Jimenez going five innings for the victory and scrap-heap addition Jimmy Paredes hitting a solo homer and cut-and-re-signed first baseman Steve Pearce smashing a three-run blast, the Orioles won Tuesday night's clincher, 8-2, over the Toronto Blue Jays the way they've done it all year. Power, good pitching and a pass-the-baton offense - which included a three-run triple by scorching newcomer Alejandro De Aza in the seventh to put the game and title out of reach.
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By Childs Walker and The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2014
The Orioles clinching a division title had been inevitable for weeks. But for fans who'd waited 17 years to reclaim bragging rights in the American League East, witnessing the actual moment at Camden Yards Tuesday night seemed essential. A sweet moment it was, with orange and white confetti raining from the upper deck as the Orioles formed an exultant mob on the field after beating the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-2, to seize their first divisional title since 1997. “This was awesome.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2014
All the postseason math - all the talk of magic numbers and scoreboard watching - is now a thing of the past. Just one win now separates the Orioles and their first American League East division title since 1997. Opening up their three-game series with the second-place Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night at Camden Yards, the Orioles' path to the postseason was simple: Win two of the games and punch a ticket to the playoffs. And the Orioles took one humongous step Monday toward winning the division with their 5-2 win over Toronto, giving the club an opportunity to clinch a division title with a win Tuesday.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 11, 2014
I remember back in October 1979 when a popular morning disc jockey in Baltimore was crowing after the Orioles were up three games to one in the World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He dedicated the Eagles' “Heartache Tonight,” to Pittsburgh Pirates fans on the morning of Game 5. We all know how that worked out. So I'm not here to be a premature bartender. If you believe in jinxes, just nod politely and move to the end of the bar and I'll talk to everyone else.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 11, 2014
When the Toronto Blue Jays overtook the New York Yankees for second place earlier this week and then won their game Wednesday night, the Blue Jays guaranteed that the Orioles couldn't capture the American League East crown until Monday at the earliest. That ruined a delicious scenario for the Orioles this weekend, potentially sweeping the Yankees at Camden Yards to clinch their first division title in 17 years. You would have needed a jumbo, battery-charged broom for that one. As it stands, the most the Orioles can do this weekend is eliminate the Yankees from the divisional race, which, for an organization that has been in the deep shadows of the Bronx Bombers for decades, is a solid consolation prize.
SPORTS
April 14, 1992
Either April Fools' Day came two weeks late or "It's Your Call" respondents see the AL East race differently from most of the experts.Asked to pick where the supposedly improved Orioles would finish in the division this season, the majority (36 percent) said in last place. The other 286 of the 449 callers put the Orioles in first place (7 percent), second (9.5), third (13.5), fourth (10), fifth (12) and sixth (11 percent).The Cleveland Indians, of all people, garnered much support for winning the AL East title.
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By PETER SCHMUCK | February 13, 1994
Welcome to the new American League East, which isn't substantially different from the old American League East. The three-time defending division champion Toronto Blue Jays again are the team to beat, and they are looking at more of the same stiff competition that kept pressure on them into late September last year."
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2014
BOSTON -- When told that his players, for the most part, deny doing much scoreboard-watching this month, Orioles manager Buck Showalter joked: “You bought that?” But Showalter said he has been impressed with the way his team has been dealing with its large divisional lead in September - which is a new experience for nearly every player in the Orioles' clubhouse. “I think they're handling it very maturely from a standpoint where we've got to take care of our business,' Showalter said.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 8, 2014
BOSTON -- Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez is continuing to show he deserves a postseason start while his team has seized its biggest lead in the American League East in 35 years. Yes, 35 years -- before any member of the Orioles' current active roster was born. With their 4-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night, the Orioles (84-59) have taken a 10-game divisional lead for the first time since Sept. 22, 1979, a season in which the Orioles lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a seven-game World Series.
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