Buck Showalter making sure his Orioles enjoy the playoff ride
BALTIMORE -- For many of the Orioles players, Friday night's wild-card playoff game against Texas was their first postseason experience.
Before the Orioles hosted the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALDS Sunday night, Showalter talked about how antsy his team might be to begin the series. And then the game was delayed about two hours and 30 minutes by rain.
"I think everybody in our locker room will be more comfortable when they get into the environment that they're used to being in, which is after they play the national anthem, we play a game," Showalter said. "I think that's what [Don] Mattingly used to say: 'What time is that song over, that anthem? Then everybody is in a position to control their destiny.' "
The Orioles pushed the Yankees in September and October before finishing second in the AL East. They ended the regular season against the Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., before beating the Rangers in Arlington, Texas, on Friday. Then it was back to Baltimore for the first two games of this series.
So it's been a bit of a whirlwind. Showalter said he wants to make sure his team enjoys the ride.
"You're always walking that line," he said. "I told them before the Texas game, I told them before, have fun. This is something -- you always hope that you get a chance to do it again, but you don't know. One of the things I'll tell them: 'Have a blast, trust yourself, let it rip, have fun.' "
"You don't want to insult their intelligence with obvious things because they get it. The last thing you want to do is draw more attention to it. There's a little comfort in the fact that it's not a sudden-life, sudden-death game, but we all know how important each one of these games are. Just do the math."
"But if you've been in our clubhouse this year, the one thing I don't have to worry about them is living in the moment, enjoying it, but the competitive part of it, they get the opportunity. You hope it isn't rare, but you approach it that way. It's important because it's important to our fans, but our guys have a grip on the reality and the whole scheme of life of what's going on here the next couple days, and hopefully whatever number in New York."