Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Reality setting in...

Since I was completely wrong about Melvin Mora starting in my previous post, let me get back to things I am absolutely sure of.

The Orioles are not a good team.

We've fooled ourselves in the past when we said that the Orioles were a mediocre team. Mediocre to me means going 81-81, or something close to that. But in the last 9 years the Orioles have rarely come close to going .500, so mediocre need not apply. Let's call a spade a spade, these past 9 years the Orioles have been downright horrible.

This year's team is mediocre.

We've seen that they can score runs over the last week or so, right up until the A's series earlier this week. We've also seen that those runs come in bunches, and usually against middle to lower-tier pitchers. Throw into the mix that the Orioles consistently falter against LHP and you've got yourself another season of struggling to get to the 81 win mark.

This team has problems, lots of them, even though we didn't want to see them as the O's took 2 of 3 from the Devil Rays and then swept the Blue Jays. Most of these problems have to do with the offense and the roster management, which I've talked about ad nauseam. There are only so many posts I can make about Jon Knott before people think I have a man crush on him. But the fact remains: Freddie freaking Bynum currently holds his roster spot. Then there are the mental errors, which always seem to happen at just the right time to cost this team a win or 2.

So there's not much else to say. This team just isn't good enough yet to challenge for the division, the Wild Card or maybe even .500.

That isn't to say that this season won't be interesting, or occasionally fun. The starting pitching will be better, although Erik Bedard is struggling to regain last year's form. The bullpen is still strong, even though they remind us time and time again that they aren't perfect. But the offense and the roster management are costing this team games plain and simple. And those games eventually add up.

Just like they say that every new day is a gift, so it goes with the O's. Every day above .500 is a miracle when you're a Baltimore Orioles fan. Enjoy it while you can. It probably won't last long.

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