Just a quick hit today, as we gear up for the O's series against the winless Yankees. Tom Scocca (Deadspin.com) published an Orioles-centric piece last Friday that is worth a read for every Orioles fan out there. In fact, I'd argue it is a therapuetuc read for any fan base suffering through seasons of losing.
Scocca opens the piece with a look back at the fantastic win that closed out the 2011 season and relegated the Red Sox to an October at home. What follows is an insightful look into the plight that has been the experience of the Orioles fanbase these last 14-years. In conclusion, he offers up a tentatively optimistic view of the current Orioles, their current management, and their 2012 campaign.
Maybe the real undervalued asset was in hiring an unwanted veteran general manager, rather than the sixth- or eighth-best whiz kid on the whiz-kid market. Duquette seems to be trying to get ahead however he can, not angling to position himself to implement a long-range plan to create a future window of opportunity. The long view doesn't require you to grab Zelous Wheeler off waivers at the last minute.
The reason you grab Zelous Wheeler and Matt Antonelli and Nick Johnson is so that, at some point this year, when Chris Davis or Mark Reynolds unleashes his violent, unsound swing and for once connects with the ball, it will be a two-run home run instead of a solo shot, because someone ahead of him has drawn a walk. You do it so that the Red Sox pitchers have to throw three or four extra pitches in an inning.
These are little things. The 27th out in the 162nd game of a losing season is a little thing, too. Until you refuse to concede it.
Make no mistake, the author does not claim the Baltimore fans should start printing playoff tickets. But it is a nice look at the organization for people who haven't necessarily been paying attention to Baltimore for the last decade or so. It's a balanced piece that leans a little to the rosier side of things -- not the tilt that O's fans are used to reading outside of fanbase blogs. Give it a read.
Thursday will mark a new experimental series for us. I will prepare advance scouting reports for readers to view prior to an Orioles series. The series will serve less as an introduction to the Orioles opponents than it will a true advance scouting compilation, highlighting strengths and weaknesses of individual players. We'll give it a go and see what you all think.