It’s hard to win a pennant, but it’s harder losing one. ~Chuck Tanner
The amazing season of the Baltimore Orioles ended this evening in Kansas City as the equally amazing Kansas City Royals ended 29 years of post season frustration, sweeping the O’s with a 2-1 victory.
The Royals have won eight straight games since starting the post-season in the one game Wild Card playoff against the Oakland Athletics. Then they swept the mighty Los Angeles Angels who had the best record in the big leagues before sweeping the Orioles who had not been swept in a series this season since July.
All of the games were competitive going down to at least the 9th inning and the biggest margin of victory was just two runs. The Royals won with outstanding defense, timely hitting and good enough pitching. They certainly deserved to win and deserve to be congratulated for their achievement. No one picked them to go this far but they did and Ned Yost their manager deserves a lot of the credit.
The Orioles had a great season but in this series missed the injured All Stars Matt Weiters and Manny Machado and the suspended Chris Davis.
While the Orioles are out this year they have solid management under Buck Showalter and General manager Dan Duquette. I have no doubt that the Orioles will continue to build on their success this year.
As a fan I believed in the Orioles even when major league scouts told me that they didn’t think they would hold on to win the AL East.
I feel bad for my friends on the Orioles who I have known as they worked their way up through the minors. No one likes to lose but these young men are a classy and determined crew who are part of a first rate organization. I expect them to continue to do well in the future. I know that is no comfort now, but they will be back.
A couple of days ago I wrote about an encounter that I had with another officer who I had an encounter with last week. I noted that the officer in question had said that he wanted to talk with me and my own prejudices and suspicions regarding his words.
That officer came to me today, and while I cannot entirely subscribe to his theological framing of his position; I have to say that our time together was a blessing and most likely a chance for healing for both of us. The man was not sone sort of ideological or religious extremist by any sense of the imagination. His version of orthodoxy was different than mine, but like me, was a man who idealized the faith that he had in his service and superiors, and had been betrayed by them. In his case he was betrayed by men who most people could never imagine to be unworthy of that trust. If I had I not known the men that had betrayed him, I would not have understood what he said to me last Friday.
His comments about not being at our school to learn what we were teaching, I understood when I listened to him and what he had experienced. His faith in God, as unlearned and simple as it was to me was instrumental in saving his life. Even if I disagree with his underlying theology, I cannot abandon a man who in his life, faith and service done all that he can to honor God, his fellow human beings and his country.
Our encounter last week was one where I assumed that he was a religious ideologue, which was not the case. Yes he is a man of faith who could be considered religious even a fundamentalist, but not a man driven by religious or political ideology. Instead, like me, he is a man wounded during his service and trying to make sense of the betrayal by people that he assumed were his brothers, men that he idealized who in the end betrayed him.
Maybe that is the most difficult issue faced by those who have returned from war but struggle with where they fit in life, their profession and in their relationships.
Pray for all of us,