In watching my favorite football team – the Washington Redskins – lose on Thursday night, I noticed a statistical oddity that should never happen in football: the losing team dominated time of possession. The Redskins held the ball for 36 minutes to Minnesota’s 24. If you’re keeping the other team off the field and you’re still losing that means that your opponent is merely taking advantage of the time that he does have the ball – more so than are you. Somehow that drew a parallel in my mind to the Baltimore Orioles. We’ve seen the O’s take home a lot of postseason hardware this year – three gold gloves and three silver sluggers thus far. But does that mean anything in the long run?
It seems to me that having players as talented as the Orioles obviously have (given the awards), the team at least should have qualified for the postseason. Granted their pitching may not have been good enough down the stretch, however it’s almost another one of those statistical anomalies when something like that happens. With three gold gloves and three silver sluggers, one could legitimately argue that the Orioles have the best players in baseball. That’s a bit of a stretch, but you see where I’m going with this I presume.
Ultimately however, pitching reigns supreme in baseball just as quarterbacking does in football. According to postseason awards, teams like Boston, Tampa, Los Angeles, etc. didn’t have players the caliber of the Orioles. However they had better talent where it probably counts more so, and that’s in pitching. I suppose the point here is that it’s fine to have great players put together on a good team. But if the glue you use to put all of that together isn’t quite as strong as some of your competitors, you’re almost wishing on a prayer and hoping for things to go right 100% of the time. To go back to the football comparison, while the Redskins have a much better QB than do the Vikings, in that particular game the Vikings probably seized the day a bit more so than did the Skins when they had the ball.