Baltimore Orioles: Of the Crème de la Crème in MLB
The Baltimore Orioles are of MLB’s best teams, whether fans league-wide wish to admit it or not.
There’s a movement going on with the 2016 Baltimore Orioles, and one that should give Orioles fans and manager Buck Showalter a lot of hope. This team, which was maligned in every manner possible leading up to the season and into spring training, is of baseball’s best. And in saying that, yes I’m saying that they’re an early World Series contender.
Notice I said early; it’s still early in the season. We’re two weeks away from Memorial Day
Weekend, which is the traditional “quarter pole” of the MLB season. But going into league play this afternoon, the O’s have won seven straight games. And it’s the second time this year that they’ve had a seven game winning streak.
Now with that said, are they THE best team? Probably not – right now I’d give that distinction to the Chicago Cubs. However this is an Oriole team that’s seemingly defied the odds, or at the very least played up to their potential.
It’s tough for me to argue that they’ve defied the odds in full, because in my view it was always a tough sell that this was going to be a year where they struggled. (And in saying that, mind you that things can go south very quickly in an MLB season.) Many national pundits seemed dead set on the fact that the O’s weren’t going to be very good this year. Some even said that the “old men” of New York would just find a way to get the job done – because of the pin stripes on their uniforms. Not so to this point.
Oriole pitching hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been much better than advertised. And the bats…well, there’s not much more we can say about that! But the Orioles under Showalter have always had something that other teams don’t…
…and that’s HEART. I’m not suggesting that no other team has heart, because that’s not true. However I would submit that the virtue of the fact that the Orioles’ clubhouse has always been so close is something that carries this team through in tough games. Does that mean they never slip up? Of course not. However their attitude is one of the best in the league, and that’s what will ultimately carry you through in tough stretches.
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And yes, that very much includes coming from behind in games. Last night they came from two down, which is about par-for-the-course for anyone. However on Thursday they came from five down to win late. That’s tough to do. And it only happens if you’re really zoned into the game and into your team. This group of Orioles passes both of those tests – and they always have.
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Am I saying that the Baltimore Orioles will be the 2016 World Series Champions? No, I can’t say that now. But the way they’ve played and how they’ve done it puts them in a superior category in the league – for now. But how you move on from this point is far more important than how you played to get here. The fact still remains however, that the Orioles are 11 games above .500.