Friday, March 29, 2013

The Orioles WILL Compete in 2013

The reports of the Oriole’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Yes there are the stat-sheets and theorems and analyses that say the Orioles will not stand a chance. Baseball Prospectus pegs the Orioles as a 74-win team next year.

“Hogwash,” I say. “Humbug,” I cry! “Bullfeathers,” I add. The Orioles unlikely rise to the postseason in 2012 completely flipped the narrative on this team in a shockingly abrupt  manner. And what a narrative it was. The Orioles are not supposed to be good. They haven’t been good for more than a decade. They were supposed to make slow-steady baby steps toward contention. They were supposed to trade Adam Jones and consider trading JJ Hardy and Matt Wieters to build a young, hungry Tampa Bay Rays-like team. They weren’t supposed to come out of nowhere, do something that hasn’t been done since the Roosevelt administration (the Teddy Roosevelt administration), and make the postseason. It did not makes sense, it flew in the face of modern baseball analysis and therefore it must be a complete fluke.

All of that is true. 100% true. The Orioles won an exorbitant amount of one-run games. They won way too many extra-inning games. And those wins, which are essentially coin-flips, the Orioles would not have made the playoffs. After all they beat the Pythagorean Win-percentage by more than 10 games, that is an unheard of amount of luck that is extremely unlikely to be replicated.

But that is not why the Orioles of 2012 will resemble the Orioles of 2013. I contend that people are getting too lost in the surface of the numbers. If you scratch the surface a little deeper you see a different narrative. Yes Virginia, the Orioles can compete next year and can go back to the playoffs.

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