SARASOTA - The Baltimore Orioles are on the rise after their first winning season since 1997, and a playoff appearance, in 2012. ABC 7's Don Brennan had a chance to talk with the architect of these "new" Orioles, Buck Showalter.
"As I’ve gotten older, I can take in a moment. I'm not going to be a part of the moment, I am going to get a good seat and watch when they get a return for what they put into this, and not be satisfied with it. Like I said, nobody is jumping up and down."
The Orioles endeared themselves to fans even more so because they played nerve-wracking games in which they always seemed to pull out a victory. They were 16-2 in extra-inning games, and 29-9 in 1-run ballgames on their way to 93 total wins -- and the playoffs.
"Things don't always follow scripts. Thank God, or it would be boring. These are human beings; things snowball good and bad. The baseball gods will let you up off the deck if you are true to certain things, and our guys will be, because they have raised their bar of expectations."
There were some departures from last year's team, like Mark Reynolds. But the main core of Adam Jones, Matt Weiters, and a young consistent pitching staff has them in good stead for the future. "When we go out on the field now, we have a bullseye on our chest. We knock some teams out last year that are used to being above us, so it is great. These guys are really enthusiastic, they have a lot of energy," says 2nd baseman Brian Roberts.
On Tuesday, Showalter was the guest speaker at the Sarasota Area Sports Alliance luncheon. The sports alliance raises money for scholarships that they award to Suncoast athletes headed for college.
The Orioles open their spring training schedule Saturday, February 23rd against the Twins at Ed Smith Stadium, with the first pitch at 1:05.