Here are some quotes from the Orioles after their 5-1 victory over the Texas Rangers to advance to the AL Division Series.
Jim Johnson on celebrating victory: “It’s a lot of fun obviously. Just doing all that hard work we put in from the beginning, even from a couple years ago, it’s all worth it. Now we are just trying to reap the rewards and see where it takes us. We’re just going to try and compete and see where it takes us.”
Johnson on going back to Baltimore to play: “It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be an incredible atmosphere. I am 100 percent sure of that. They are going to be excited and it’s going to be a helluva series.”
Joe Saunders on finally winning at Rangers Ballpark and in the postseason: “I just wanted to prove people wrong tonight and just go out there and win for this club. These guys were hungry to get a real celebration and I know the fans were hungry for some real playoff baseball. And we are having a blast.”
Saunders, a Northern Virginia native, on securing two home playoff games for the Orioles: “This means everything growing up watching the Orioles, coming to games as a kid and now to give them playoff baseball, it’s a special feeling I can’t explain it.”
Dan Duquette on having a playoff series in Baltimore: “I’m so happy for the fans, who have waited for a long time. Now we have a home playoff game. That’s what the playoffs are all about, right? For the fans to come out and see. Our guys did a great job; they knocked off the defending American League champions. I am so proud of them.”
Duquette on Joe Saunders: “Joe Saunders has been in the playoffs before and so when we got him we had that in mind. We have rookie pitchers and we thought if we had a veteran pitcher who has been in the playoffs, that would be a good complement and Joe Saunders got the job done.”
Duquette on the win: “The boys did a great job and I’m just proud to be a part of it. I am so happy for the Angelos family and I am so happy for the fans who stayed with the Orioles and their faith was rewarded. And I’m so blessed to be working with pros like Buck Showalter and Peter Angelos and Brady Anderson and Tripp Norton, they are pros and I’m glad we have an opportunity now to play the Yankees.”
Nate McLouth: “This is great. To make the playoffs is one thing, but it’s a do-or-die game and you never know what could happen. When you look at tonight’s game you have to start with Joe. He got three double plays and he got out of key situations with runners on base and struggled with his command early, but made big pitches. This is special. I know we are not done yet. But this is a big first step and we are going to enjoy this.
Brian Roberts on the celebration scene: “My gosh, it is something you see on TV, but you don’t really understand what it feels like. This organization, it has been a long time coming. I am happy for the fans and especially for the Angelos family and all the guys that put so much time and effort and hard work into the last 15 years to have it pay off.”
Roberts on being able to be in Texas for this game: “Personally, I think it is great. I think it is something I needed to see for moving forward as well as for all the years I have been here. I would have hated to miss it and would have hated it not being a part of it in some way, shape or form. Certainly I would have liked to be on the field, but to be a part of it in some way is great.”
Roberts on the Orioles turnaround: “You just don’t see it that often in pro sports where everybody picks a team to finish last and they don’t. The group of guys that are here and the leadership, starting with Dan and the Angeloses and down to Buck and everyone, it speaks volumes to the character and drive and determination of everyone in here.”
Buck Showalter on the victory: “This is for our fans. They have been such a big part of this and their support, and the chance to get back there and play, regardless of who we are playing. We’re not doing it to play a game, we are doing to try and win. Everybody is trying to be the last team standing now.”
Showalter on beating his last team the Rangers, and now facing his first team, the Yankees: “I’m all for irony.”
Jim Thome on winning: “This is great. This is what it is all about. We have a bunch of guys who love to play baseball, who do it the right way and it is so rewarding, that light at the end of the tunnel we talked about.”