Seconds after the Orioles clinched a postseason berth Sunday night, I stared at my phone, waiting for the inevitable.
My brother-in-law, Brian, bombarding me with text messages and demanding that I fulfill a promise to apologize to him in print if the Orioles made the playoffs.
"It should probably start with, 'My brother-in-law is a genius,'" Brian said. "And then you can start the praising."
You may remember Brian, a lifelong Baltimorean and Orioles fan, from a column I wrote in late April. In the column, I mocked him for overreacting to the Orioles' usual hot start and predicted that the team would start to fade during a six-game trip to New York and Boston.
The Orioles went 5-1 on that trip. And now they are 92-67, tied with the Yankees for first place in the AL East with three games remaining, assured of at least a wild card.
Yes, Brian deserves his apology, even though I've got two sources who say that he was ready to quit on the O's at several trying moments this season.