Late last week Baltimore Orioles’ Executuve Vice-President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said that he’s tired of being picked in last place each year. Now on one hand, some people would say that in order for that to cease he needs to find a way to make a bigger splash to improve the team. But there are two sides to every story. On the other hand…
…the Orioles have won more games in the regular season since and including 2012 than any other franchise. One way or the other, they’ve found a way to get things done. People might also point out that they haven’t won a title in that span, which is true. But even in the two years they missed the post-season, they were competitive. The O’s haven’t had a losing record since 2011.
Ironically, the national media seemingly has a love affair with one of the Orioles’ division rivals: the Tampa Rays. Admittedly, they’ve also just found a way to get things done – for the most part, that is. However seemingly no matter how many players they lost or how many injuries they had, people would pick them to be in the mix. Just this past season, they were a popular pick to win the AL East. And as we know, they weren’t even close.
I suppose what Duquette’s saying is that this franchise never seems to get the benefit of the doubt. Other teams seemingly do, for whatever reason. While we know this isn’t going to happen, if the 2017 Orioles to a man were exactly the same as the 2016 bunch, would they be horrible? Probably not – odds are they’d be competitive, just as they were last season.
The knock on the O’s is that they don’t have the horses in pitching, which is a glaring weakness. Many people also point to their strikeout totals. However any power-slugging club is going to have strings where they strike out a lot. That’s just part of the deal.
Incidentally, the way you win games in the AL East is by clobbering your opponent. While I also do believe in having guys who simply get on base here and there, AL East games traditionally are 10-7 affairs. So that’s how the Orioles need to build their team, because before anything else they need to focus on the division. If they can adcance past that point, they can start worrying about how to beat teams who focus more on OBP.