Baltimore Orioles: A Worthy Opponent in the Kansas City Royals


Oct 11, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) steals second base in the fifth inning as the throw gets away from Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy (2) in game two of the 2014 ALCS game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles fans get offended and aggravated by the lack of respect given to our favorite team by the baseball media around the country, and rightly so. They fail to realize how, over a three-year period, the Orioles have won as many games as anybody.

So O’s fans should be able to understand any similar feelings from the fanbase of the Kansas City Royals.

In the same way that baseball people around the country had gotten used to seeing the Orioles as cellar dwellers of the American League East, the same would be at least equally true about the Royals. We just don’t expect them to be this good, because it has just not been a part of their recent DNA.

So where did these guys come from? They are clearly more than just a wild card team that lucked-out a bit and backed into the playoffs. They are a good outfit! The Royals have been putting pieces together and, much like the Orioles, have been building a quality product over time.

Showalter said of this process, “…you knew it was going to really get going. You just hoped it wasn’t while you were there.”  And yep, they’ve got it going.

There are some similarities between the O’s and the Royals in terms of the development of their seasons. Both languished around the .500 level for quite a while, only to have a very successful second half of the campaign.

For the Royals, they were still at .500 at the 100-game mark of the season on July 23rd. From that point until the end of the year they went 39-23. And the Royals are a team that can get hot. They had winning streaks of 10 games and nine games, and they won 17 out of 20 at one point. But it can also turn quickly, as they lost four in a row after the 10-game win streak.

The Orioles broke out of a .500 rut just a bit sooner than did Kansas City. The O’s last time was at 27-27, although 18 games later, it was just 37-35. But then the Birds began to win with more regularity.

Here is a comparison of the last half of the season for both teams …

2014 SeasonOriolesRoyals
Last 104-66-4
Last 2013-710-10
Last 3020-1015-15
Last 4026-1422-18
Last 5032-1830-20
Last 6039-2137-23
Last 7045-2542-28
Last 8053-2747-28

Baltimore Orioles fans will remember from the first third of the season how difficult it was for the O’s to win at home. It was so strange to see them play better on the road, with better hitting and pitching away from Camden Yards.

But the Birds solved that problem, going 50-31 at home, and 46-35 away. The Royals never solved this issue, finishing with a home record of only 42-39. In fact, KC was outscored at home this year 342-300. So this can be some encouragement to the Orioles as they begin the first of three games there (weather permitting – which it does not look like it will permit).

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If those statistics don’t encourage the Orioles, maybe the quote reported in various media source of Jarrod Dyson being asked if he expects to return to Baltimore in this series, “No sir, I don’t. And I don’t think they think that, either.”

Well, isn’t that special!

Actually, to be fair, if the situation was reversed in every way and Adam Jones said the same thing, I’d be praising him for the “in your face” aggressive quote.

C’mon Orioles, just win this thing!