After the most eventful Sunday in recent Baltimore Orioles history -- an emergency landing in Jacksonville, Fla., followed by the mathematical clinching of their first postseason berth in 15 years -- star center fielder Adam Jones sought context.
"I didn't know we were going to be as good as we were," Jones said, in a quiet moment at his locker Monday afternoon. "I knew we were going to be good -- but not as good as we are."
He paused for effect.
He's right. There is no such thing as a bad playoff team. The Orioles, expected to fade down the stretch, had the best September (19-9) of any team in the American League. The agnostics say the Orioles are lucky -- 28-9 in one-run games, 16 victories in extra innings -- but it's downright offensive to dismiss them as an anomaly. The Orioles win close games because they have an excellent manager, stout bullpen and a lineup stacked with power hitters.
The Orioles could lose the ...