After six years of tertiary education and numerous part-time positions within sport and recreation, Daniel secured an ideal full time role within local government in November 2010.
Away from work, Daniel has 18 years of cricket experience under his belt and has coached and served on committees at numerous clubs. He also plays baseball in winter and is again a member of the club committee.
Sport and recreation is an obvious interest for Daniel and his articles reflect that, especially his knowledge of cricket and football.
The owner, manager and editor in chief of Pen & Paper Sports, Daniel hopes to see the site grow from strength to strength in the future.
Following a 3-0 win over the Blue Jays in late April, the Baltimore Orioles (one of the MLB’s worst performing teams over the last 15 years) had surged to an 11 and 7 start. After that game, I wrote this article... Full of hope for the season ahead.
The article highlighted how the O’s had recorded losing seasons every years since 1997 and how their record during this period was a disastrous 990 & 1276 (44% winning ratio).
Of course, there were 144 games remaining and it certainly wasn’t the first time in this 15 year period where the O’s had started well. There was a need for caution. It’s now early September and most of those 144 games have passed. In fact, just 28 remain for the 2012 regular season.
To the surprise of most, including faithful Orioles fans, the Birds are still in the best position they’ve been since 1997, with a record of 75 & 59.
The doomsayers will highlight the -31 run differential and yes, that’s somewhat unusual for a team +16 over .500 this deep into the season. In fact, it's unique given the Orioles are the only team with a +.500 record with a negative run differential. However this statistic is largely due to the Orioles ability to win the close ones thanks to a wonderfully performing bullpen.
The Orioles trail the division leading Yankees by just one game and if results go to plan tomorrow night, they could find themselves leading the division. Their players are hungry and their fans even hungrier.
As an Australian looking (thanks to live streaming via MLB AtBat and updates via Twitter), it seems like the city of Baltimore, Maryland is party-central, with long-suffering fans bombarding social media both during and after each game.
Within this tweeting chaos, there is a whole lot of love (all be it cyber love) for all those enjoying this true underdog story. An example of which came earlier this morning AEDT when in the space of 15 minutes, no less than 20 reporters, analysts and fans alike re-tweeted my simple piece of input into the frenzy;
“As an Australian staying up all night watching the @Orioles I am severely sleep-deprived. But I just can’t stop watching!”
With that came almost 100 new followers, countless tweets of appreciation and applause from fellow O’s fans and better still, some even offered me free accommodation should I choose to take the 20-hour flight over if the O’s reach the playoffs.
Whilst this is a remarkable offer and one which I may well take up, I’m a firm believer of playing down playoff talks until the season reaches the final week. As remarkable an achievement it would be, through a wildcard berth or an unexpected division title, the first challenge is to record 82 wins, ensuring a winning record for the season.
The next 28 games are as important as any over the last 15 years and these O’s must first record 7 more wins. From there, anything is possible...
What is your take on the 2012 season for the Orioles? Can they reach the playoffs?
Daniel James Clark