OK, this one is a bit of a gimmie.
Sep 13, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles first basemanSteve Pearce
(28) celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Yankees won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
If Oriole fans need me to point out the reason why they should still be excited for this team, nothing I say will work. But, just to hold this thing together, let’s look at it anyway. The Orioles have a commanding lead in the AL East. Now, it is possible for them to have an epic collapse, I suppose. If they lose 10 in a row and Toronto wins 10, we’re looking at a suddenly very interesting picture. But, possible and plausible are two different things. The Orioles won’t lose 10 in a row and with 14 games remaining, they are a virtual lock to win their first pennant since 1997.
But, just in case you need some reasons other than the post season to stay interested in the Orioles. How about the following:
Chris Davis has been suspended for using Adderall; something that he has had permission to use in the past. His 25 game suspension means that it is his 2nd violation. With Davis set to miss the rest of the season and 8 games of the post season (assuming the O’s take it that far), it will be very interesting to see who steps up for the club. They are already without Manny Machado and Matt Wieters. Losing 3 of their best players would hurt any team, especially at this time of year. Yet Baltimore has managed to keep rolling.
MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli tells us who will have to step up for the O’s. She points to the obvious, Nelson Cruz. Can he continue his season of retribution and carry this team? She also mentions the late additions of Kelly Johnson and Alejandro De Aza. I guess, this will be a true test as to whether those were good pick us or not. For me, though, there is one guy who stands out. As an outsider, it is hard for me to see anyone having a gutsy, grind mentality and impact than Steve Pearce.
Pearce is having a break out year. He is batting .287 with 16 home runs and 39 RBI. He is worth 5.0 WAR. Not bad for a guy who the Orioles were willing to part ways with earlier this year. Look for him to play a huge role for the rest of this month and possibly into the play offs.