As we now know, the Baltimore Orioles were rained out last night in game three of the ALCS. So everything’s moved up a day, with game three being tonight at 8 PM, game four tomorrow at 4 PM, and game five (if necessary) being on Thursday at 4 PM. Wei-Yin Chen will pitch tonight for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by former Oriole Jeremy Guthrie.
Let me preface this by saying that I along with all of our staff writers here at Birds Watcher don’t cover the Orioles as fans. Granted many of us grew up following the team and so forth, and it was that passion that led us to ink this column. However in this capacity we’re analysts and not fans. Bearing that in mind, you didn’t have to be an Oriole fan to take umbrage at Jarrod Dyson‘s comments about the Orioles and their players.
In the tradition of Richard Sherman of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, Mr. Dyson has seen fit to let his mouth do his bidding as opposed to what he and his teammates do on the field. Keep in mind that Dyson’s comments were totally unprovoked by anything that the Orioles appeared to do or say. He was asked if the series would return to Baltimore; it would have been perfectly fine for him to just say no, I don’t think it will. Instead, he also had to throw in that the Orioles didn’t believe it would either.
In doing so, he called the Orioles out and basically said that they had low-character guys. What he’s saying is that the O’s are feeling that the series is over, so they might not even be trying anymore. That’s not something that should sit well with anyone in that clubhouse, nor should it sit well with Orioles fans who or course know their team and it’s character much better than does Mr. Dyson. To their credit when they were asked to respond to Mr. Dyson’s comments, none of the players nor manager Buck Showalter took the bait and fired back
Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
(short of saying that they would compete until the series was over).
Incidentally, Mr. Dyson could stand to learn a lesson in humility from the Orioles in that sense. Their character as a team and as individuals was called into question for no apparent reason, and they acted like the professionals that they are and didn’t resond in turn. And there are a lot of people out there, fans and players alike, who would argue that’s exactly part of the Orioles’ problem.
Mr. Dyson behaved in a carefree and quite frankly incredibly unprofessional manner in saying what he said. Heck, all Joe Namath did was guarantee victory; he never called into question the heart and will of his opponents. But in letting his lips flap as he did, Mr. Dyson also exhibited the looseness for which he and his teammates are noted. We’ve seen the likes of Eric Hosmer among others do things in games that are probably over the line of baseball’s famed unwritten codes.
And honestly, I’m not overly impressed by gesturing towards the dugout after getting on base myself. Baseball’s a game that’s as much about how you conduct yourself as anything else. But occasionally teams decide to throw caution to the wind in that regard. While they do celebrate after wins and so forth, the Orioles will never be caught gesturing towards teammates or opponents in that manner – not so long as a professional who leads by example like Buck Showalter is in the dugout, that is. And again, I would submit that’s a good thing; you never have to worry about violating the unwritten codes and ticking s.omeone off.
But does that looseness and even arrogance give a team a mental edge? If what Kansas City has done in this series is any indication, perhaps it does. Either that, or perhaps the whole aura of professionalism hinders other teams (the Orioles in this case). However the hidden message in this is that teams such as Kansas City don’t really care about the unwritten codes, and they feel they can still beat you even if you have it out for them.
In the case of Richard Sherman with the Seahawks, he does and says what he does in an attempt to get guys off their game. This prompted Santana Moss of the Washington Redskins to say last week that Sherman knows that he isn’t as good as he makes himself out to be, so he behaves as he does towards opponents in an attempt to gain a mental edge. So if that’s true, is it not possible that Mr. Dyson might actually be questioning whether or not his team can keep up the pace at which they’ve been playing?
We can debate whether or not some of the gestures on the field or carefree schoolboy attitude exhibited by some Kansas City players is disrespectful, or whether or not that helps them to outduel the very professional group of Orioles. However one thing that’s not really up for debate is the fact that Mr. Dyson embarrassed himself, his team, his manager, and his fans when he made his comments. It’s one thing to be confident, but quite another to in effect say that your opponent has thrown in the towel. And reading between the lines, that’s exactly what he said.
Some of the crasser individuals will make comments such as well he’s right when he says they won’t go back to Baltimore. And he might well be for all I know. However no matter where you stand, the idea that his comments could be used as bulletin board material has to cross your mind. And bearing that in mind, there has to be a few people out there who would like to see the Baltimore Orioles teach Mr. Dyson the ultimate lesson in humility.