Look at whats happened with the 4 Div Series this year and one observation has to be that teams with playoff experience or caliber players all won.
Giants - Cincinnati - Cincy was quietly doing a great job all year in the NL Central, but SF went much deeper than Cincy in the 2010 playoffs
Det - Oakland - A's were like the O's this year, over achieving, but having given up a prime #1 pitcher like Gio Gonzo and facing Verlander instead really finished their string.
StL - Wash - Wow what a 9th inning. 2 outs and you dont see the Cards panicking, but doing the right things, taking the free base, hitting for RBI instead of swinging wildly at the first pitch (hello Os), coming from 6-0 in game 5 to win it. Experience counts
and of course -
Orioles - NYY - look at what our pitchers did, the great Yankee line up had what 4 homers in 5 games? but our hitters choked big time, always swinging at the first pitch (Jones, Wieters) and trying to hit homers all the time (Davis), clueless on the bases (Hardy). Each of the 5 games, with what our pitchers did, and just some modest production we could have stuffed it down the Yankees throats. They took their pitches at the plate, pounced on any miscues and never let up. Gir wasnt afraid to sit Aroid down, while Buck go them this far, he doesnt have a legit playoff caliber player to school Jones. Ibanez pulled the same crap against Boston (who rolled over of course) but the Orioles had the same opportunities in Tampa and didnt do it.
The Orioles were vastly improved, hugely entertaining, and reignited the love affair in Baltimore. Now we get to start counting the days til spring training. Really need to blow up the mid-infield (ie no BRob, Andino, Quinta), put Manny where he belongs. Manny produced in this series and he is going to be huge.