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The Baltimore Orioles have been swept out of the ALCS by the Kansas City Royals. That was an unceremonious end to the team’s best season since 1997. I’m still stunned.

The Orioles had a truly magical season. They lost Matt Wieters to injury after just 26 games and Manny Machado after 82. Newly mortal but still spectacular slugger Chris Davis missed the playoffs to suspension for taking adderall without permission. And yet they found new talent in improbable places: Steve Pearce’s out-of-nowhere slugging, Nelson Cruz’s redemption tour, Zach Britton’s heavy-gravity closing, and whatever the hell you would call Ryan Flaherty and whatever the hell it is that Ryan Flaherty does.

The Orioles dominated the AL East and swept the ferocious Detroit Tigers in the ALDS. And though they were felled by the Kansas City Royals in four straight, blooper-filled, small-ball disasters, I still love the Orioles. If you love them– or Maryland at all– I’ve made some shirts that might interest you.

(If you’re not from Maryland and/or hate us for this stuff, just skip over this one! We still love you.)

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Visual approximation.

For those of you who hate it when we post things that have nothing to do with hockey, whelp, sorry not sorry.

On Friday afternoon, my brother and I spoke on Facebook chat and he told me about a peculiar thing that happened in Anne Arundel County earlier today.

Richard Henry Lee Elementary, a school in Glen Burnie, had to close its doors early this morning because a feral cat snuck inside the building.

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Whoops. (Photo credit: Marc DesRosiers)

On Monday morning we published a story about how awesome Mikhail Grabovski is, including the likelihood of him re-signing with the Washington Capitals.

Maybe we should reconsider if we actually want that as it seems Grabo forgot how to play the sport of hockey during the Ottawa Senators game.

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5 Days Out: Stanislav Petrov

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This series so far has been a list of things we’re excited about– on-ice and off– for the new season. Today I wanna do something a little different. Today I want to introduce you to a man named Stanislav Petrov.

Thirty years ago, on September 26, 1983, Petrov was working on the Soviet nuclear missile defense program. His job was to monitor possible incoming attacks from the United States. If he detected an incoming attack, his job was to start the process for firing back at the US. Mutually Assured Destruction.

That night, Petrov’s early-warning system said an American attack had been launched. Five intercontinental ballistic missiles were incoming. But instead of mindlessly doing his duty, Petrov used that rarest of human talents: doubt. He judged it to be a false alarm. He did not tap the big red Пуск button that would have begun “an irreversible chain reaction in a system geared to launch a counter-strike without human interference.”

So the Russians did not fire back at the States. Petrov’s false alarm was eventually confirmed. And then he was drummed out of the military for disobeying orders.

I guess that has nothing to do with hockey, but it kind of has everything to do with hockey. Thirty years ago today, a normal guy made sure that world would spin another day just by using his noggin and his heart. That’s worth remembering, I think.

I was born that same day thirty years ago, so I think about this a lot. As Craig Ferguson might say, it was a triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism. Earth needs more of that.

P.S. – My new album is now available. It’s called Single Point of Failure, and you can download it for free. Thanks.

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