This article is written by Dennis who writes for the Yanks Go Yard. You can check out the article I wrote for him at the bottom of this post.
It’s okay, Baltimore Orioles fans, it’s okay. After 1997 and losing to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS, it’s been awhile since you’ve been close to anything resembling “respectable” with nine fourth places finishes, one third place finish, and last year’s bottom-taking performance since Rafael Palmeiro led the O’s offense and Mike Mussina led the pitching staff. Speaking of… which team did Moose win 20 games with?
Anyway, the year 1983 is now more than a quarter of a century old and the best thing to come out of there in that time is John Waters and his predilection for gender bending. Thinking about it now, it kind of makes sense that the Orioles have lost their virility and have given birth to “less than mediocre.” Okay, fine, I’ll give you “The Wire” as being bad ass, but think about the content of the show. You have to be on drugs or have a gangbanger’s loyalty (which inevitably turns out to be fruitless) to still root for the Orioles they’ve been so bad.
Honestly, your best player is unproven in the bigs and will probably take bus rides for a month and I’m talking Matt Wieters here. OR maybe Gregg Zaun is actually better? Hahaha. At this point, he’s all upside, but you’re the Orioles… what do you have to lose by playing the kid? And the O’s will be so bad that they’ll probably clean house and trade Brian Roberts (talent wasted on this team), Aubrey Huff (a pro, but will not have another season like last season), and Melvin Mora (Mr. Consistency, but never outstanding). I’ll admit Nick Markakis is very underrated, but when his contract is over, he’ll probably leave and go to a real team like the New York Yankees. Adam Jones has huge upside, unless he continues to look clueless and be inconsistent like he did in 2008. Is he more May and Sept of ’08 OR June and July of ’08. And Felix PIe? Are you seriously drinking that Chicago Cubs Kool-Aid? I’d rather play the one-dimensional Ryan Freel.
And besides Jeremy Guthrie, Baltimore’s pitching STINKS! All of the good arms are on the farm and it will be awhile before they make dents in the big show. Unfortunately, the A.L. East is stocked with great young pitching in Boston, New York, and Tampa Bay. It could be another 25 years before the Orioles make any noise worth listening to.
As far as the Yankees go, yes, they have money. Yes, they spend it. No, you can’t buy championships although, technically, every team is in that practice. Do I personally like it? HELL NO! But, it’s the tactic they’ve used, which hasn’t worked. Nothing beats the 1996; 1998-2000 World Series teams to me because the Yankees won with farmhand talent in Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, and Mariano Rivera at the core. Thankfully they are getting back to that and becoming a bit more of a mix with Robinson Cano, now Brett Gardner, before him Melky Cabrera, and of course Joba Chamberlain on the club. Some good prospects in the minors including Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson amongst others, particularly on the pitching side, could make an impact in a year or two.
But, we are talking about THIS year and THIS year, the Yanks will roll and roll deep as they have a very good pitching staff and reserves in the dugout such as Nick Swisher. And when Alex Rodriguez comes back, it’s going to be a zoo for sure, but he should still be able to perform despite all of the steroid speak sure to ensue. And before anyone rags on A-Rod, I have two names for you – the aforementioned Rafael Palmeiro and Brady Anderson. Seriously, if you believed Palmerio’s denial before Congress then you still think the Orioles were inept in letting Daniel Cabrera, the pitching equivalent of Dave Kingman, go. And, Anderson, c’mon. If he’s not the paragon of a player that did steroids, had a monster year out of nowhere and then floundered back to previous levels, I don’t know who is.
As far as this series goes, the prodigal (pinstriped) son, Mark Teixeira will continue to mash the ball as he has all spring and make Baltimore fans cry. And I’m sure the O’s pitching will make Cody Ransom look like A-Roid. Thanks in advance, by the way. And the probable trio of CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Chien-Ming Wang will leave some corkscrew marks at homeplate and when the Yankees bus leaves, everyone associated with the Orioles (fans, players, front office, et al.) will reach behind wondering what that sore feeling is.
This Birds team is so bad that they may give 1988 a run and the Yankees would be happy to oblige and start it off with the first three losses.
You can view my Orioles fan perspective (here).