If anyone still needs confirmation that baseball in Baltimore is back and that this wild and wonderful season is for real, know this: the Orioles are on a regional cover of the Oct. 1 edition of Sports Illustrated.
Yes, it’s not a new photo. Markakis’ broken thumb is in a cast now and his playing -- and leaping -- days are over for the moment.
But it’s an arresting image nonetheless, accompanied by the caption: “It’s been one celebration after another for the Orioles, no longer the AL East cellar dwellers.”
Even a two-game losing streak by the Orioles shouldn’t stop their fans from savoring this one.