Not every Orioles fan is a Ravens fan. But for those in Baltimore, it’s been a great year in sports. For the first time since 1971, Baltimore has a winning baseball team and a champion football team.
September 21, 2012; Boston, MA USA; Baltimore Orioles general manager Dan Duquette in the dugout prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
For years, the Ravens have been competitive. Since their first Super Bowl win during the 2000 season, the ravens have only had 3 losing seasons. Pretty impressive given the level playing field in the NFL with salary cap restrictions.
So how have the ravens been able to achieve such consistent success? (Ravens fans already know this) It’s because they have a brilliant front office, led by General Manager Ozzie Newsome. Sure, not all of his moves have worked out, but the guy drafts great talent, manages to find diamonds in the rough, and somehow puts it all together to create winning teams.
It all starts with a great organization. NFL players want to play in Baltimore. Players are treated right, and the team puts faith in its coaches and its players. The winning culture is infectious. Players are brought from the brink of retirement, or out of obscurity to compete, perform and even excel. Sound familiar?
When the Angelos family decided to bring in really smart, really strong people to run the Orioles, it brought about the massive sea change within the organization. Signing players like Miguel Gonzalez and Nate McLouth were risky moves, but they were calculated ones. Sure the Orioles didn’t jump at the chance to sign a marquee name, but the safe money is on Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter, who like Ozzie Newsome, know which strings to pull.
Names like Steve Pearce and Conor Jackson (both basically discarded by most of the league) are poised to make waves this season, and one can bet they will be doing it for a contending Orioles team. Time will tell if the Orioles are able to maintain the consistency over an extended period of time the way that the Ravens have, but with Duquette and Showalter each signed to long term contracts, it’s shaping up to be the same formula for success. Here’s to Opening Day!
One of my earliest memories is of going to Memorial Stadium to watch the O's with my father. One of my coolest memories is going to 2131 with my father. (I still wish he'd taken me to the 1993 All-Star Game instead of my brother.) I believe being at Camden Yards with a beer in one hand and a hot dog in the other is the closest thing to heaven on earth. The Orioles are my passion, and I'm so glad to have a chance to talk Orioles baseball with you! Follow me on Twitter @mandy_redman