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O’s bring O’Malley, Franchot together

Orioles outfielder/DH Chris Davis celebrates with catcher Matt Wieters. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

As the Orioles prepare for a Wednesday night game oozing with American League playoff implications, a pair of prominent Maryland Democrats showed the unifying power of a successful professional sports team.

Both Gov. Martin O’Malley and state Comptroller Peter Franchot began Wednesday’s Board of Public Works meeting by praising the success of the Orioles, who have already clinched a playoff berth and could force a one-game playoff with the New York Yankees for the American League East title with a little help from the Boston Red Sox tonight in the Bronx.

Franchot, a Montgomery County resident and also a fan of the playoff-bound Washington Nationals, said the Nats had given rival  Washington politicians something to agree upon.

The Orioles have had a similar effect in Maryland politics.

“I’m delighted the Orioles have brought O’Malley and Franchot together,” Franchot said, drawing laughter from those assembled in the State House’s second-floor reception room.

The pair have sparred frequently in the last year, often over the state’s economy or the oft-divisive gambling issue.

O’Malley said the state was “preparing for a Baltimore-Washington World Series,” and Franchot was quick to point out that he made half of that prediction, way back in March.

“Back then, it was just a fantasy,” Franchot said. “If that comes to pass, I imagine the governor, the treasurer and I will be first in line to buy those tickets.”