The Baltimore Orioles have had a very quiet offseason but despite what most are thinking, I am perfectly content with the approach. Would I have liked to see them go out and really contend for one of the five-star free agents? Sure. But that’s not the Orioles. It’s not in their DNA.
I look at it as they are maintaining their recent success and have faith in the current roster to improve upon that success. Look at the Rays for instance. They made the World Series in 2008 and have consistently been able to contend in the AL East ever since. Even more impressive is they have done so without going out and dropping big money on any free agent. There’s no reason the Birds can’t model that type of success.
It looks as though the organization is very close to signing A.J. Burnett so that would be a good addition for the rotation. If we look at the rest of the rotation, there is a solid group of guys to take the hill. If Wei-Yin Chen can stay healthy all year and if Chris Tillman can replicate the wins he had from last year, we have a solid group of pitchers.
The one thing that is going to make the team better this year is execution. Last year, there were too many times I watched us ground out into a double play after loading the bases. Or get a lead-off double just to strike out twice in a row without getting the base runner over to third. There were a lot of times where the Orioles just did not execute and get the “Orioles Magic” like we saw in 2012. If we can execute small-ball, situational hitting better, we will win more games.
I know it is hard to trust Peter Angelos after what he has done to the organization and what he has put us through in the past couple of decades, but give the man some, if even just a little bit of credit. He brought in Andy McPhail, who looking back on everything brought in a lot of really great talent to Baltimore. Then came the hiring of Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter who have lead us to two consecutive winning seasons.
We’ve been able to do so much with so little in these past two years and I don’t want to see any drastic changes derail what we have built. This team is built off of trades and our minor league system. Would you rather us be able to contend building our team by small, smart, and economical moves or become another version of the Yankees and just buy whatever we needed?
I understand there are needs right now. There is a huge question mark in left field and at closer. In my opinion, being a closer is somewhat overrated. Unless if you’re Mariano Rivera or a select few of other closers, there is no longevity in the position anymore. But the fact that we are going into a year where we should contend again for the playoffs with only a couple of question marks doesn’t concern me.
The front office will make the necessary moves and get what we need by the trade deadline. So I am asking you from one Orioles fan to another, please don’t jump ship. Please don’t slam this front office and say they have done nothing but sit on their hands. They are the ones that have made baseball relevant again in Baltimore. They have helped put fans back into the seats at Camden Yards again. This front office is smarter than what most are giving credit for. Give them a chance and enjoy the season.