I was going to do a general roundup of what I said about the AL East before the season today, but with the Orioles' organization being in so much flux, I am going to look back only on what I predicted about the Birds of Baltimore.
Here's what I said:
In the end, the Orioles need to decide whether they want to compete or rebuild. On paper, they look slightly better than what their 70-92 record indicates, but in my eyes, it looked like a lot of the players were not trying and accepted the way things were.
However, I think we are quite a bit away from contending, but if all goes well a .500 record is attainable. There needs to be a plan with the organization, whether to rebuild around Tejada, and get the bats we need, or perhaps consider trading our strongest chips, outside Bedard, Cabrera, Markakis and Loewen and see if we can get young talent under our control to compete perhaps in ’09 or ’10. The team looks to be greatly improved on paper, but as of now, we are nowhere near the Yankees, Red Sox or Blue Jays in terms of talent. We’ll have to see how the young pitching develops and if Markakis turns into the next big thing.
If competing and contending ever becomes palatable again here in Baltimore for the Orioles, there are more changes to be needed with the makeup of this team.
Looking back at these paragraphs nearly seven, eight months later, I could not see at the time how right I was. Well, we finished with a worse record than in 2006, and things seem to not have not gotten better -- in fact, they are far worse.
I'm not going to repeat the problems with the team, but we know that Bedard has emerged as an ace for the team, and Guthrie was a diamond in the rough. Adam Loewen got hurt, and Cabrera, well, he's not improved.
The expensive bullpen was a bust, and the offense outside of Tejada, Markakis and Roberts was mediocre at best.
There is major turnover in the staff, and front office, plus there will be more moves to come in terms of player personnel.
I have watched the team more than enough to see the product on the field, and I'm not going to say much more because I am standing by my words at the top of the post.
My original piece on the Orioles 2007 Season Preview: http://oriolepost.blogspot.com/2007/01/birds-of-baltimore-and-outlook-for-2007.html