Awesome article on Buck Showalter.
I've been watching this team develop over a couple of years. Showalter is unbelievable. He's a master psychologist, a baseball genius, two or three steps ahead of most managers. He's funny, engaging, humble, and entertaining. It's really been a privilege to be able to really believe, and get behind, a team like this that does it the right way, and they're totally in his mold. I hope he's here for 10 more seasons.
O's really looked shaky last night though. I thought the pressure had gotten to them. They looked scared most of the evening, particularly after not being able to capitalize on a few opportunities in the first couple of innings. But that little huddle they showed before the 13th was a HUGE deal, IMO. The night before, when they pulled Gonzalez, there were smiles in the dugout, and the team looked loose, happy, relaxed. Even if they lose, they should feel happy and relaxed - they've overachieved, and they should be enjoying the moment. But they looked like ghosts. Everyone was having terrible at bats, except for a couple of the "scrubs," e.g. McClouth, Flaherty. That huddle seemed to break the ice a little. They were playing games with the hats, soaking up the moment a little bit. I hope that breaks the bad juju that looked like it had taken over a little bit there.
One area where I don't understand what the coaches are doing though - why the fuck don't they tell Jones and Davis to take a strike? They should make them take 2. And they should tell them they're going to get pinch hit for if they don't hit the next two balls the other way. Thome should probably just get pulled. Let Ford DH. Their ABs are awful, awful, awful. Hughes was not nearly so good as his line indicated last night. He kept missing with fastballs, left a ton of them out over the plate, and guys swung right through them.
Anyways, it all comes down to one night. Can the O's please win in a blowout so I don't have to rock back and forth on the sofa tonight, or curl up in the fetal position on the floor?