06 April 2008

3 . . . 2 . . . and . . . We are back.

Ok, I have been thinking about resurrecting this blog. I will probably go in a little bit different of a direction and maybe not be as regular in terms of posting.

First Week Thoughts . . . Orioles 4-1

The Orioles have been able to take advantage of weak schedules and good luck in the past few years. I have not done any research on this, but it seems we tend to have a pretty uneven schedule. The Rays and Mariners qualify as such.

The Rays are a largely unproven team with great upside. Commentators have been lauding the Rays for years and it finally seems like it might be coming together. Andrew Freidman is an amazing GM who knows how to do the little things. His pickup of Carlos Pena (of which he and I were the only ones who liked this kid) and several minor moves have strengthened the team in a cheap and efficient manner. His offseason deal to improve his rotation and infield defense may come with a steep cost if Delmon Young figures out what a strike zone actually is or develops his contact rate on par with Vlad. Often focused on money, as pretty much all teams are, they sent Evan Longoria down to AAA. The intent is to strangle in another arbitration year as he is ready for the show. This will cost the team a win or two, which is not really significant as they should finish the season in the realm of .500. 2010 is their season. Still, they are not a strong team, so taking a game isn't big news. It sure is an accomplishment, but we really need to recognize that the O's just are not a strong team this season.

The Mariners are a team that everyone wants to win. People love this team and remark how they pulled together in the face of great adversity and won 88 games. They did two unlikely things: they busted their composite projected record (76 predicted wins) and they busted their pythagorean runs for and against record (80 predicted wins). About 10% of teams do this. They are just simple outliers. It most likely isn't a skill as teams do not sustain this type of production in consecutive years. Anyway, the projection systems say that the Mariners will win 79 games +/- 6. That isn't a strong team. We just won our third straight against them.

Although the Mariners is not a strong team. Our performance is definately something to celebrate. Our bullpen is solid. Our players have been able to hit in a timely fashion (which may or may not be a skill . . . it certainly is a skill that is not very dependable). On the downside, our starting pitching has been bad. Trashcel somehow manages to go deep pitch-wise into games. I still am not sure how he does it. Hopefully, we can turn him into more prospects at the deadline. I don't trust him. Anyway, he needs to go deeper into games or we will see something similar to last year when Sammy burned out our pen. I think our pen is better this year, but if you have to cover 4 innings everyday. That is going to where your guys out. Loewen is what he has been in the past. He has very high potential, but he needs to get more experience. He may always have control issues though. For the past two years . . . I think him and Cabrera share a lot in common. Guthrie helped out today by going a strong 7.

Hopefully, the Orioles become one of those weird 10% teams that do something completely astonishing. Of course, I am not aware of any team achieving 30 games over their given prediction.

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