14 straight losing season (1998-2011), 2,268 regular season games played, at least 20,412 innings played and zero hope. That is what the city of Baltimore experienced as the Orioles suffered through 14 seasons of sub-.500 baseball. As the 2012 season began, fans and experts alike expected that streak of disappointment, sorrow, and losing to continue. But, no one told Buck Showalter that that was what had to happen. Showalter brought an "us-against-the-world" mentality to the O's and boy, were they against the world! "They don't have a positive run-differential, they don't have a true staff ace, they have the worst defense in the American League" and on and on went the critics and supposed experts. And yet, as I stood watching closer Jim Johnson strike out Alex Rodriguez to end Game Two of the American League Division Series, with my Orioles Christmas hat on my head and a far-too-small O's jersey on my back, I realized just how far the Orioles had to come to get to this moment and how long this "Charm City" had to wait to experience baseball in October again. How exactly did the O's do it? By going 29-9 in one-run games, 16-2 in extra-inning games, and finishing 75-0 in games in which they led after the seventh inning, all in the regular season. Plus, having the AL's best bullpen would be of some benefit. Baltimore now must win one more game, after bouncing back from one of the most disheartening losses I have ever seen in sports, 3-2 in 12 innings, Wednesday night. Now, the Orioles hold their fate in their own hands, as they have all season long. Resiliency and improbability aren't enough to describe this Orioles team. Hopefully this season can be a jump-start towards more bright and successful seasons down the road.