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How Time Flies…

Yeah, it’s been awhile. So it goes and on to the next.

Last year on this date the Orioles were 70-57. At that point we were just beginning to believe that perhaps the team was for real and would, somehow, make a playoff run.

Today they are 70-59 — equal to last year’s pace in the win column and only slightly behind overall.

Yet it feels so…different.

Part of me wishes I still had the bandwidth to cover the O’s day-by-day the way I did four or five years ago. Then again, part of me is glad I don’t. It was simple back then. Today I have a hunch I’d drive myself crazy trying to reconcile the difference between how August 26th feels in 2013 versus how the same date felt last year.

I have this thing I like to do, personally, where I look at what I call “resetting normal.” What I mean there is that at any given moment we have what we understand and then we have the world as we would like it.

To get from one thing to the next means grasping the long game. You can make great leaps here and there — and you should — but real advancement requires sustainability. Sustainability means incremental shifts, such that “normal” changes almost without recognition. This, by nature, should happen slowly.

By this standard, the 2012 Orioles season was a burden of blessings. They reset normal so quickly that now we, as fans, are in danger of losing our memory.

I’d be the first person to register an alarm if the Orioles had taken a step backward this year. But they haven’t done that. Indeed, they’re arguably more impressive this year given the fact that their record in one-run and extra-inning games is no longer historical, and given that Jim Johnson has gone from hero to problem child.

I’m not sure I can bet on a second consecutive playoff berth, but I’m sure I can’t bet against it. And I’m pretty sure that’s enough. At least for now.

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