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?