It’s been said regularly throughout the history of the great game of baseball, that regardless of what you do, you will win a third of your games and lose a third.
It’s what a team does with that other third that will make the difference between a successful season or a bad season.
Therefore, it stands to reason that the Orioles should at least finish with 54 wins.
Unfortunately for Buck Showalter & Co., the O’s are on pace to win just 46 games.
FORTY. SIX. GAMES.
And of course, that would mean 116 losses. The Orioles couldn’t make a bigger mess of 2018 if they tried. It’s just a sad, pathetic situation that frighteningly has no end in sight.
Let us review the depth of their ineptitude …
- From September 1, 2017 through October 1, 2017 the Orioles were 6-21 (.222)
- A team batting average of .227, an MLB worst
- Ranked 29th (of 30) in runs scored and RBIs
- Ranked 30th in on-base-percentage
- Ranked 30th in defensive efficiency ratio
- Ranked 28th in team ERA (4.82)
- Ranked 30th in successful save opportunities
- Ranked 30th with a WHIP of 1.49
- Ranked 28th in batting average against
That’s the mess on the field.
Off the field, it’s arguably worse.
Peter Angelos is said to be in failing health yet is reluctant to release the stranglehold he’s had on the team. Neither of his sons are capable of providing direction. The club is involved in a legal entanglement over MASN and the Washington Nationals that has them currently on icy terms with MLB and is the underlying reason why the All-Star Game has snubbed Baltimore, despite one of the most beautiful parks in the league.
There’s more …
Brady Anderson is rumored to be the primary influencer in “The Warehouse.” His resume suggests he should be anything but. Dan Duquette is a lame duck EVP of Baseball Operations. Buck Showalter, who according to a source, lost the team during their last playoff appearance when he opted to bring on Ubaldo Jimenez in relief instead of Zach Britton – he’s also a lame duck.
Showalter, a big proponent of the Chris Davis albatross contract, has essentially lost the team – one that is fundamentally bankrupt or doesn’t care enough about the game’s finer nuances that contribute to winning. Either way, the responsibility of the team’s cavalier approach to detail has to fall at least in part, at Showalter’s cleats. And the way he’s handled Manny Machado, who obviously is using the 2018 season as a campaign to riches, demanding a move to shortstop, is just flat-out embarrassing.
There’s STILL more …
The Orioles scouting staff is said to be among the thinnest in all of MLB and they’ve dedicated just two scouts to the burgeoning Latin American market. Comparatively speaking, a team that should be a benchmark in how to turn a floundering franchise around, the Houston Astros – they employ 15 such scouts. Instead of harvesting a talent crop that attracts the game’s best franchise, the Orioles pawn off their international positions for fringe prospects who regularly end up as minor league fodder.
Today, the big question surrounding the team is how they will leverage the MLB trade deadline to replenish their system with young, promising talent. Are they even capable of making good trades to provide hope for the future? Will the lame ducks Duquette and Showalter have any influence or will they rely upon the inexperienced Anderson to pull off a successful trade? And now that teams know that the Orioles need to be sellers, has that weakened their bargaining power?
How will fans respond if the Orioles are taken to the cleaners?
What will the fans say when players like Machado, Britton and Brad Brach don’t yield the talent crop that they could have produced a season ago when they were so much more valuable?
What if the Orioles do nothing?
Would it shock you?
Currently the Orioles are ranked 23rd in paid attendance with an average of 20,736 paying customers. Of course, that is NOT the turnstile count. Trust your eyeballs. Ask the concession vendors or Boog Powell.
What will the Orioles sell next season when Machado, Britton, Jones and Trumbo are all gone? Who could they attract in free agency? What worthy front office exec will willingly walk into that situation? And for that matter, what decent managerial prospect will want to deal with any of this mess when Showalter heads back to ESPN or MLB Network?
Seriously, could the Orioles possibly make this any worse? They’ve essentially created a blueprint for the demise of a franchise.
The good news for the Orioles, who have won just one of their last eight series, is that the schedule brings some reprieve with the Twins on tap next. The Twinkies have lost four straight series, themselves, to fall 13 games below .500.
The bad news for Baltimore is that they’ll be on the road, where they have an MLB-worst 12-31 record, and game-one starter Andrew Cashner has a career 1.013 opponent OPS against Twins batters. Even with rookie Aaron Slegers on the mound for the Twins, whose World Series odds have plummeted from 30/1 in May to 125/1 basically straight across the board. At least at most of these sports betting sites, the O’s will be sizable underdogs in not just game one, but the four-game series as a whole.
It’s a sad and disgusting situation for Orioles fans, rooting for a dysfunctional organization – a rudderless ship.
One that is sinking fast.
The Edmund Fitzgerald has got nothing on the SS Angelos.