Blog Entry

Broken records don't make good baseball analysts.

Posted on: April 25, 2008 11:16 am
 

FYI: The Orioles are a decent team!

It's easy to rip on the Orioles from a national media-fed vantage point  The average baseball fan remembers that the O's have stunk for the past 10 years, right?  He vaguely recalls them being written off and labeled in the preseason as likely the worst team in baseball. Then he misses the Sportscenter highlights because ESPN slips the Orioles in the final 3 minutes between the end of Top 10 and the top of the hour when he has already turned off the TV.  When he picks up the newspaper the next morning, he may or may not notice that the Orioles have a decent record and position in the standings.  If he even spends 5 seconds thinking about it, however, he says to himself, "They're just off to a lucky start.  There's no way they can keep it up.  Not in that division."

That's what people see.  That's what they think.  Isn't it?  I mean I don't usually like to speak for another when he could most likely speak for himself, but the exact kind of person I'm talking about has understandably not taken the time to post on the Orioles' message boards.  The only non-Orioles fans that go in there are determined to insult, trash-talk and doubt us anyways, so they don't count.

It's true - I'm still impressed and I still believe the Orioles really have a chance to make something out of this season.  I do.  I really do.  Really...

Why?  "How could you be so foolish," you ask?

...Have you actually watched the Orioles play?

I invite you to do so.  Go to MLB.com and watch the archives.  Watch last night's 8-7 comeback win in Seattle against the Mariners.  They were down 5-0 by the third inning.  Unlike any Orioles team in the past decade, however, they did not panic (or just give up, which hasn't always been out of the question for the O's).  Instead, they went to work.  It was slow, methodical, and efficient.  They gave themselves a chance by playing defense, pitching out of tough situations, and working the small-ball offense.  Did you notice that they had already gained control of the game before the big inning even came?  After the spirited comeback,  Ichiro Suzuki came up with a big home run, but Brian Roberts responded with a shot of his own before anybody even took two breaths.  When George Sherrill came in for the save attempt, his teammates' confidence in him showed, Roberts made a nice play to get Ichiro on a DP, and it was all over.

I'm serious.  Go watch the game.  What you'll see is a team with a sense of collective and individual responsibility and a quiet confidence that there's no game they can't win.

"But really, all that being said, the Orioles stink!  Right?"

And what makes you say that, my friend?

"Well, they just do!  They stink!  Right?

Are you sure?

"Absolutely.  I mean, they do stink, right?

Broken records don't make good baseball analysts.  Have you actually watched the Orioles play?

Category: MLB
Tags: MLB, Orioles
 
Comments

Since: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2008 11:57 am
 

Broken records don't make good baseball analysts.

So true, so true. I guess it takes a bit more than a cursory glance to see what the Orioles have done, and are doing. It is also possible that the Orioles probably haven't given the casual fan reason to give them the benefit of a doubt. However, for any casual fan that just so happens to lay eyes on this, or other similar posts please take credence in the contents. These are not yesterday's Orioles. Clubhouse cancer Miguel Tejada, roster clogging - high salary Jay Gibbons, and expensive veteran has-been Free Agent types (Sosa, Kline, Reed, Conine...) are no longer flavors of the Orioles' day. I agree, Angelos has stepped up and made positive moves LATELY, and it starts with this season's MVP, Andy McPhail.  McPhail has come in, done his homework on the team and organization, leveraged his experience, and developed the road map to respectability and ultimately competitive baseball. This has occurred with what is seemingly an Angelos-less direction, but with Angelos' buy-in. Very tough to obtain, and long over-due.

It seems Trembly has the O's roster working in concert and playing well, and more importantly getting along and putting team first. Jay Payton for example. Clearly he brings more to the table today than phenom prospect Adam Jones, but he's not publicly whining about playing time (Frank Thomas could not be reached for comment), and making the most of his AB's and playing time.

From an organizational stand point the O's have legit prospects at every level for the first time in a long time. Single A Frederick, Matt Wieters is tearing the cover off the ball .393 and 4 jax, AA Bowie has Chris Waters with a 4-0 record & sub 2 ERA, and AAA Garrett Olson 1-1 sub 2 ERA and 24:7 (K:BB).

The important thing here is the O's are exceeding National expectations and not their own. Dave Trembly has them thinking and believing they can hang with the big boys on a single game basis, and at the end of the season the record and standings will be what they are. There is also light at the end of the tunnel as the organization has some depth, enough depth that Adam Loewen going on the DL, doesn't feel like the sky is falling. If this attitude and direction continue to play out as it has, Baltimore becomes more attractive to Free Agents that actually have something left to offer the team outside of name-value. Hopefully this bears fruit with the off-season signing of hometown star Mark Teixerra.

Yes, I'm drinking the kool-aid and it tastes soooo good. Those outside of Bmore, have no fear. There is plenty left to go around. 




Since: Apr 8, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2008 10:35 am
 

Broken records don't make good baseball analysts.

Too true! I'm absolutely tired of hearing the Orioles written off simply because of such a dubious past ten years.

Heck, the only time I watched SportsCenter this year, the Orioles and 6 other teams were playing day games.  One game was the cover story, and then they said, "Alright, let's get to the other day games around the league."  And guess what? They completely SKIPPED the Orioles game.  And mind you, this was back when the Orioles were undoubtedly the hottest team in baseball after sweeping the Mariners in 4.

While the D'Backs are now the hottest team in baseball, the Orioles are still a little more than a fluke.  We're almost entering the second month of baseball here, and the Orioles still cannot get any respect.

Trembley has done wonders for this ballclub.  He has simple philosophies, but having a former minor league manager in the majors to help develop these kids we have playing for us now is one of the best things Angelos has done (Yes, someone from Baltimore admitted Angelos did a good thing.).  I completely agree with you that this is not the Orioles team of past years that is going to put its head down and walk away.  The rally to win 8-7 proved that.  While I won't make quite as many bold statements as you did, I've been telling people this all year long.  No, we're not going to go anywhere this year. But we aren't going to suck because we have multitudes of talent that only needs to be refined.  To write us off and say we don't even have a shot at .500 is ludicrous.


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