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October 9, 2012 at 11:54 am ET
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Baltimore: America’s Peppiest City!

What’s it like, you ask? What’s it like to root for a team that’s tied 1-1 in the division series? Against the Yankees? Only one year removed from a 93-loss season? After a 14-year playoff drought?

Food tastes better. Colors are brighter. The crisp, fall air is fresher. Yeah. I think I could get used to rooting for a winner.

Take today, for instance.

A rainy morning? Yay for the farmers!

A guy in a redneck truck honks his horn at me and gives me the finger when I make a sketchy left turn?  And a good day to you too, Mr. HonkingHonky!

Notorious prick shoots his mouth off in a meeting? Oh, you! Don’t ever change, you nutty scamp!

Normally any one of those things could ruin my morning and my outlook on humanity. But this whole darn city has a pep in its step this morning after last night’s 3-2 Orioles win over the Yanks.

Sure, it was dramatic. For the second straight night, the O’s and Yankees scratched and pulled hair for nine innings. Excepting Sunday night’s anomalous ninth inning, games one and two resembled a lunchroom slap fight, neither team landing decisive blows. But when the principal pulled them apart Monday around midnight, Baltimore and New York were tied at one.

Wei-Yin Chen vs. Andy Pettitte? Chen, though Pettitte looked terrific. And it’s a good thing, too; Joe Girardi’s looking none too sure about that bullpen of his. David Robertson pitched a nice eighth inning for him. But he wanted no part of Joba Chamberlain, who warmed up when Pettitte looked like he might be tired in the seventh. The Yankee manager went to the whip down the stretch, but it wasn’t quite enough; his 40-year-old horse was gassed at 98 pitches.

Baltimore’s bullpen did what Baltimore’s bullpen does: hold on. Darren O’Day, Brian Matusz and Jim Johnson combined for the last eight outs, allowing only an eighth-inning single to Mark Teixeira. A single, by the way, that could well have been a double had Oriole left fielder Nate McLouth not backhanded the ball as it headed for the corner. Johnson threw 12 pitches to the top of the Yankee order in the ninth. One, two, three for the save.

The O’s and Yankees have now played an incredible 20 games against each other this year. Each team has won 10. But as they board their northbound Acela Northeast Express train from one Penn Station to another Penn Station, it’s worth noting that the Orioles have won all three series this year at Yankee Stadium.

Enjoy the day off. I sure am.

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One Response to “Baltimore: America’s Peppiest City!”
  1. O's fan in NY says:

    JJ got redemption and A-Rod played deception (on another JJ.) Fun stuff indeed. Kudos to Ichiro on his acrobatics.

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