Happy Groundhog Day, Baltimore Orioles fans! We’re one day closer to baseball
For the Baltimore Orioles, this Groundhog Day feels more like the Bill Murray movie than we’d like it to. It’s cold and snowy, we know the Orioles will be bad. There’s optimism, for sure, but success is likely a long way off.
The Orioles will enter 2019 as one of the worst baseball teams in the majors. But unlike last year, when the front office thought they could compete for a postseason spot, this team knows it’s bad.
On the bright side, the organization (namely John and Louis Angelos) realized their predicament and decided to hire smart baseball people, have them make the important decisions, and try to rebuild this once respected franchise from the crater it has fallen into.
Also on the bright side, Punxsutawney Phil, the renowned groundhog, did not see his shadow this morning, thereby predicting an early spring in 2019. I don’t trust the normal weather reporters, never mind a groundhog that I’ve never met, but if we can get rid of this snow a bit early this year I’m all for it.
Unfortunately, according to people from Live Science who did the math, Punxsutwney Phil has a ~39% hit rate, which has dropped to roughly 36% since 1969. That’s peak Chris Davis‘ OBP right there. Unfortunately, that’s also current Chris Davis’ strikeout rate.
The question is whether the Orioles will see their shadow this year and stay in hibernation, or if they can start making serious improvements with talent acquisition and player development. We have faith in Mike Elias and Sig Mejdal, and improvements across the organization this year might not be as tangible or visible as wins at the major league level, but the Orioles have to start getting better, and quickly.
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We’ll be wishing for early spring as much as we’ll be wishing for the Orioles to drive themselves out of the muck this year. The Orioles shouldn’t have much issue with the weather down in Sarasota (must be nice), but seeing as MLB has decided to start the season on March 28th this year, the Orioles could use an early spring.
The Orioles don’t play their home opener until April 4th, against the Yankees. However, we all remember how the cold, dreary winter that dragged on forever last year affected early-season games across the northeast and the mid-west.
Even if the Orioles are truly terrible this year, we want baseball. It might be bad baseball, but it’s still baseball. And we don’t want it adversely affected by the weather. There’s an argument to be made about the length of the MLB season but I’m not going to make it here.
We’re just asking for good baseball played in optimal conditions. So do your job, Punxsutawney Phil. Be right about this prediction so we can get some good, early baseball this year. The Orioles might be terrible in 2019, but we can at least enjoy Camden if it’s nice outside.