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.
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.
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!