Category: Baseball Page 1 of 5

Gonna Be One of Those Years

The Orioles are in the status of “rebuilding” this year. This is when a team gets rid of any decent talent it can and starts over from unknowns, hoping to make some magic a year or three down the line. So we accept that the O’s will be bad this year.

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

And as I know from decades of bleeding Orange & Black: when the Orioles are bad, they are really bad. Record-setting bad. For example, they did manage to miss a Major League record for the longest losing streak in 1988 when they opened the season 0-21, 5 shy of the 26-game streak set by the Louisville Colonels 99 years earlier. However, it should be noted that since this losing streak began on Opening Day, it was the longest season-starting streak ever in the AL by a comfortable margin. The Phillies had dropped 23 to start the 1961 season, for the NL and MLB records in that sorry category.

But last night the overpriced non-hitting star hitter Chris Davis did not fail to make and pass his own MLB all-time record of shame: he is now the “proud” owner of a 49 at-bat no-hit streak. This breaks the old record by three, and of course, he’s not necessarily finished yet.

Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones were all marketable and they are all gone now. Chris Davis is still an Oriole.

Sigh.

Manny, Gone

Manny Machado has been traded, and thank goodness, the Orioles got a fistful of prospects from the Dodgers for him.  I am glad they are recognizing that the only plans they should be making are rebuilding plans.

My friend Jeff the Dodger fan will be happy.  I’m happy for Manny and glad he’ll play on a team that has a chance.  Manny deserves that.  He’s been great as an Oriole but the Orioles no longer deserve him.   They are on a pace to lose 115 games this season.

I have already mentioned that the Orioles are not good this year.  But one night this past May, we went to our almost-annual Orioles game and watched these:

So, Manny, thanks for everything.  Now go get you a ring!

 

The Orioles Are Not Good

The Baltimore Orioles are probably the only thing of which I can say I have been a devoted fan my entire conscious life.  I have rooted – and I still root – for other teams along the way, but never against the Orioles.  I love them dearly.

But baseball is nothing if not a game of numbers and the numbers on the 2018 Orioles don’t lie.   So this is where we are six weeks into the season.  10-27 doesn’t change my rooting interest.

Against that backdrop, one of the recent past’s Oriole greats, Rafi Palmeiro, is working up a comeback attempt.   It’s a long shot, for sure.  But aren’t this year’s Orioles ready to play a few long shots?

And hey, they have now won two in a row.  You can’t win three in a row until you’ve won two in a row, amirite?

 

Go Cubs, Go!

We’re watching the Cubs’ home opener when a replay review comes up.  As the ump was putting on the headphones, the Wrigley organist started to play,

Maybe it’s my warped sense of humor, but I giggled.

 

Congratulations Astros!

By now you know the Houston Astros won the World Series.  I didn’t have a big rooting interest in this one.  My favorite teams are, the Orioles, the Cubs, and whoever’s playing the Yankees that day.  The Dodgers knocked off the Cubs, the Astros did the honors for the Yankees, and the Orioles were really not in this year’s post-season conversation.  So I’m OK with how the Series turned out.

But the funny thing now is how everyone is swooning over a Sports Illustrated cover from June 30, 2014.  Yes, 40 months ago:

This was widely mocked at the time

 

Many people appear to be unaware that sports-writing is basically a business of ignoring yesterday’s predictions that were proven wrong today while making more predictions for tomorrow.

Venturing over three years into the future with your predictions, especially as visibly as a cover story in SI, just gives other sports-writers ammunition to make fun of you.  Check out the sneering tone of the USA Today story at that time.

Obviously the magazine isn’t actually declaring the Astros the 2017 World Series champs, just making an audacious point about a perennially bottom-dwelling club that is, by almost all accounts, moving in the right direction. . . .

And the heroics of coverboy George Springer aside, most of the Astros’ ballyhooed prospects remain only prospects. Of the players currently on their roster that are under team control through 2017, only Jose Altuve has really established himself as a good Major League player. Springer has been great for his 225 at-bats, and starters Dallas Keuchel, Jarred Cosart and Collin McHugh have all had success this season.

Even if all those guys maintain their success, that’s five pieces of a 25-man roster.

So here’s the thing about predictions: they are mostly BS.  People tend to forget the ones that were wrong and focus on the ones that turned out right.  A comparison of most predictive techniques with coin-flipping would make coin-flipping look like a map of the future.   Here’s a fun exercise: track a week’s worth of predictions from your favorite sports media and compare them to random chance.  You’ll never read a sports page the same way again.

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