Baltimore Orioles: Do you make your own luck?
Similar to that of the Baltimore Orioles, the Maryland Terrapins’ (football) season is quickly slipping away from them. I sat down to watch yesterday’s game against Michigan and became quickly dismayed at the fortunes of the Terps. Perhaps you don’t expect much when you’re playing one of the most famous programs of all time. But I would have hoped for a better showing than a 35-10 loss.
Michigan flat out beat the Terps yesterday fair and square. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. But I watched as break after break went against Maryland. At one point the Terps converted on a third down with a deep pass, which was reversed on instant replay. The official ruled that the ball had come out. While the replay indicated that the ball could have come out, it never showed the ball on the ground. (Point being that the replay was inconclusive and the call on the field of a catch should have thus been upheld.)
Incidentally, Michigan capitalized on EVERY opportunity that they were gifted. Each and every one. Balls sailed through Terrapin receivers’ hands, straight into those of Michigan defenders. And those interceptions went back into the red zone. Following the non-catch I mentioned above, Michigan blocked the subsequent punt. To their credit, Michigan didn’t mess around with the chances they were given.
Why is this relevant to the Orioles? Throughout the 2017 season I noticed similar characteristics of the Birds. A seeing eye single with two outs would get through, and suddenly the flood gates would open. It’s almost as if the Orioles felt that they had to punish themselves for their lack of focus.
Part of winning is being in a winning mindset. And part of that is having the fortitude to overcome obstacles. I’m not sure that this 2017 Orioles team was capable of doing that. This isn’t to say that there weren’t mentally fortuitous guys on the team, however as a collective it seemed that things would snowball downward quickly.
And similar to Michigan yesterday, opposing teams always seemed to take advantage quickly. It’s almost as if they played for the fluke play because they knew that it would get the Orioles off-kilter. A ball through the wickets, a bloop single, etc…those things all would wear on the O’s. And again, opposing teams took advantage – nearly every time.
So how do the Orioles fix that going into 2018? I suppose it’s a mental thing more than anything else. And that comes from within. Therefore you hope that players are taking stock of themselves over the winter, and thinking of what changes they can make going into next year – both between the lines and mentally.