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The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

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The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

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The Baltimore Baby Birds


For the past seven years, the Orioles have been in a painful playoff drought. In 2016, the team made it to the Wildcard – the first round of the playoffs, but were defeated by the Toronto Blue Jays with a dramatic walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Ever since, the Orioles have been the joke of Major League Baseball – just like the Oakland Athletics are now (sorry Mr. Green). They were were constantly at the bottom of the American League East. Attendance dropped and so did Baltimore’s passion for the team. With the parallel success of Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens football team, the bottom-feeder Orioles became irrelevant to most.

However, when you reach rock bottom, the only way you can go is up. Orioles General Manager Mike Elias and his team began rebuilding a top tier farm system constantly drafting future stars. By doing this, while the MLB team struggled immensely, the minor league teams were winning championships. Those players, led by top prospects such as Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson were busy tearing up the minor leagues.

On May 21, 2022, everything changed. Adley Rutschman received the call. The Baltimore Orioles were now his team.

 Since his call up, Rutschman has been such an asset that the Orioles have never been swept — a streak that is third in more than 120 years of recorded baseball statistics. Later that same year, Gunnar Henderson arrived, homering for his first ever hit, foreshadowing the star he was bound to become.

As a result, that year the Orioles won 30 more games than expected, ending at 83-79, their first winning percentage over .500 in many years. In Baltimore the excitement around the team began to flourish, even though some “experts” believed the team was a fluke. After last year’s season, they said the O’s would go back to their sorrowful 100-loss seasons.

Wrong. This year, overshadowed by a record start by the Tampa Bay Rays, the Orioles maintained a winning percentage over .600 and became the most consistent team in all of baseball. Now, with less than 10 games remaining, they sit atop the American League and are days away from clinching the playoffs. This success has proven that Baltimore is once again a baseball city.

Baltimore City has become more alive, too, with the attendance at Camden Yards up more than 20 percent from last year and the town embracing their new contender. Strangers will start conversations when they see each other in Orioles clothing and the presence in opposing stadiums is strong.

BT student Yoni Bresler, a lifelong Orioles fan, described the season as “giving him a reason to live.” Zach Simon, also a lifelong fan, said “It has woken me up from underground, and it is a dream come true.” This organization has the potential to be good for a long time with their Number One ranked farm system and American League best team.

However, they still have one major hurdle: ownership. John Angelos, the son of Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who is now not active in public due to illnesses, has inherited leadership of the team. Besides the hiring of Mike Elias, the younger Angelos has failed to sign a new lease for Camden Yards as the clock on the old one ticks toward a late December expiration date. He’s also failed to pay cornerstone players of the franchise. This inability to maintain a winning team raises questions as to whether he cares about the long-term success and sustainability of the franchise.

But for now, let’s just enjoy our long-awaited success.

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About the Contributors
Zach B.
Zach B., Layout Editor

Zach B is a Senior at Beth Tfiloh. He plays baseball, runs Cross Country, and most importantly, roots for the Orioles.

Yoni B.
Yoni B., Guest contributor
Muhammad Ali once said "if your dreams don't scare they are not big enough".

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