Camden Yards is awesome, but it is a miserable place to watch a baseball game in August. I’ve never sweated as much sitting down as I have at August baseball games in Baltimore. The team better be really good if I’m going to go to a game during the heat and humdidity of the summer there.
The Mets play in the best market and have a smart front office in place. The farm system is not great but it’s not terrible either and Marc Hulet in particular was higher than most on it. They won’t be high overall, but bottom 5 would be pretty ridiculous, even with 2012 and (likely) 2013 looking fairly bleak.
I can, though while I agree that we ARE a longshot contender in any division, our presence in the AL East can’t be ignored as a major roadblock to contention.
Which isn’t to say I want out of the AL East — it’s fun to hate on the Yankees and Red Sox, whether we’re winning OR losing. We’ve been dominant in the past and can be again, but yes, it will be a while until we are again, and unfortunately a lot of that IS the fault of Peter Angelos.
I still think he’s as meddling as he was a decade ago, even if it’s kept on the DL a bit more, and even if he’s not, the perception continues.
hahahaha the Pirates are going to TOP TEN buddy!!! A’s will be up there too after getting Parker, Cole, Peacock, Milone, Norris and then add in Choice and Sonny Gray and they will could maybe get a top 10, most likely top 15
No matter how much Dan Duquette gets laughed at, the people of Baltimore can always take solace in the fact it could be worse; apparently JP Ricciardi was one of the men they were interested in for that job.
At least Duquette seems like a hilarious bumbler, not an egomaniac obsessed with turning your team into a dominant .500 dynasty of mediocrity able to win enough that it just gets your hopes up year in and year out only to be dashed on the rocky shores of the AL East.
Ballpark at Arlington, September 2011, Rangers-A’s. At the 4:05pm start time it was 103 degrees. Those first few innings were among the most painful experiences of my baseball-loving life… by about 6:30, the temperature dropped to a mere 98 and it felt glorious.
Also: the Ms. crossed her legs and got the most amusingly-shaped sunburns.
Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — March 26, 2012 @ 11:37 am
This is a reassuring sign for this season’s methodology. I can’t disagree with Baltimore’s placement in last. I remember being so confused by their placement last year-wasn’t it like 16th? It was pretty terrible. With the Pirates’ outlook slowly improving, the Orioles have replaced them as the franchise of sadness.
As others have said, there are quite a few other parks that suffer from this kind of weather, notably Texas and Atlanta, who draw well enough, and, of course, the Nats, too. I think it has more to do with the records of the teams than the heat. The Nats and the O’s both drew fairly well in 2005 (the Nats first season) being 8th and 5th in league attendance, respectively, despite the hot, humid weather. After that, it’s been terrible for both teams.
Sadly, I can’t argue with this ranking. I will argue with the assertion that Nick Markakis is injury-prone. Homeboy has never missed more than five games in a season, and is coming off back-to-back-to back 160-game seasons. I know he had some surgery this off-season, but lets wait until he misses a game before we label him that way.
I just took all of the Fangraphs Positional Power Rankings for the Orioles and put them together in a season preview format. I projected the team wins based on the individual WAR for each player. Check it out.
Sad, but largely true. There are just sooooo many “ifs” we O’s fan need to break our way.
Will Matusz return to something closer to his second half of 2010 version?
Can Arrieta, who now seems to be 100% healthy, command his fastball and be a solid contributor?
What about Chen and Wada? Chen looks an awful lot like Matusz did in the second half of 2010.
Can Hammel and/or Hunter approximate what Jeremy Guthrie did for the last several years?
All of these guys have looked good this spring, and I don’t just mean statistically because I don’t give much credence to spring stats. Their velocity is up and they are throwing strikes. Obviously facing the lineups that their AL East competitors throw out there, the hope that his lasts into the season is small I suppose.
The offense was, overall, league average last year. I would think it’ll be as good if not slightly better this season. The pitching, however, SEEMS as though it’ll be much improved from last season. Rotation and bullpen. Duquette has indeed built in some depth. When the O’s need to reach down to AAA Norfolk this season they’ll have something they can use.
On the other side, we have little to no offensive depth to draw from in the minors.
Even if all of these things break the O’s way it likely does not get us out of the AL East cellar but there is some hope for a good season – by relative Oriole standards :^) Again, .500 being that standard.
Lastly, Duquette has been a very good GM in the past. He’s only every had one losing season as a GM. The circumstances that brought him here were embarrassing, the Korea situation… eh, whatever… that’ll work itself out. I’m more concerned about why the O’s apparently think so highly of young Kim and pretty much no one else does.
Duquette teams in Montreal and Boston have always been strong in scouting and player development and this more then anything has been what has made the O’s such a horrible franchise for so long. We’ll see if Duquette can break through here with some of the changes he has already made in this area.
Comment by Tito Landrum — March 26, 2012 @ 2:06 pm
It is an easy problem to solve…it’s as simple as Peter Angelos leaving the team.
Kind of my point about Baltimore’s historical level of loyalty to the Orioles. They won a Series in ’66, lost there in ’69, won it in ’70, lost in ’71, and were in contention the rest of the 70s. Yet people mostly stayed away. That’s some pretty impressive non-support, if you ask me.
I can’t imagine most places not being hot and humid in August. The right field side gives the least amount of shade and is usually the hottest. The left side is the shadiest and theres a nice breeze underneath the terraces. The bleachers are sweltering, especially during day games. I spent half the game in the bar across Boogs BBQ. One thing about O’s games today…lots of options
Thats because Memorial Stadium was in a bad suburbian location with bad parking. Its not that Baltimore didn’t love the O’s…the same could be said for the Colts. Neither team had high attendance, but both had huge following in the area. The demographics of the stadium was horrible, which was the reason the Colts left, which then motivated the city to build Oriole Park
If the fans would just stop going to the games, Angelos might wake up. Maybe. It’s such a waste of money anyway. The glory days of full houses at Camden Yards are gone…the young, affluent DC folks with their smart phones are texting and tweeting happily away from the Nationals’ ball park now. No more sell-outs except when the Yankees or Red Sox come to town. The Yankee and Red Sox fans buy up all the tickets, not that Angelos cares whose money he rakes in.
But for most of the home games, a few thousand die hards still show up. These are the guys who come with their stat books and Bill James’ latest sabremetrics bible. These folks are seriously lost in the forest. They can and will argue that Jeremy Guthrie is a “solid” major league starting pitcher. The fact that he was the losingest pitcher in baseball (17 L’s) in two of the last three seasons is “irrelevant.”
These are the people who keep the attendance from being embarrassing. They should stay home and read their charts, and maybe Angelos would notice that nobody is paying to watch his team any more.
I guess a little context is needed. I grew up watching the Seattle Mariners. Augusts in Seattle are spectacular and not miserable. I go to a lot of games in DC too and while they are very hot and humid it’s pretty cheap to attend. I walk there after work and get $5 tickets from the ticket window. In Baltimore, they don’t seem to have cheap tickets at the ticket window when I have gone. They don’t have a good product on the field. When it is hot and humid it’s pretty miserable. With all three of those factors I see no reason to make the drive to go to games up there. If they become good, I probably will make the drive, pay the higher ticket prices, and sit in the hot and humid weather to watch good baseball.
I think that’s an overly-harsh assessment of the fans that do show up. A lot of us appreciate advanced stats but go to the games for the experience of sitting in a beautiful ballpark and watching baseball, not once filling out a score card.
And Nats fans were just gnashing their teeth less than a year ago about Phillies fans buying up all the Opening Day tix, so you can’t tell me this sort of thing is solely the province of the Baltimore fan base. You hear the same thing about Cubs and Cardinals fans invading Miller Park and Great American Ballpark, too.
And finally, in defense of Guthrie, he IS a solid ML SP. He was never an ace, and even on the rare occasion that he WAS referred to as such, it’s always been with “ace” in quotes, or prefaced with the word “de facto”. He was a great ambassador for the team and the sport, and deserved better than the non-existent run-support he received in Baltimore. He’s a very good 3rd or 4th SP, and I hope (probably in vain) that he can keep enough long-balls inside Coors to get flipped to a contender later this season.
The O’s had four highly touted pitching prospects ready to compete. Markakis’ decline was still seen as a fluke and Roberts still looked like he might be ok. The O’s were one of the best teams in the second half of 2010. There was plenty of reason for optimism. Cameron just failed to compensate for the fact that the Orioles can’t develop talent. They undevelop talent. Players are better when the join the team than they are after they’ve been “developed”. Their player development system would turn a young Babe Ruth into Neifi Perez and a young Cy Young into Kevin Correia. Matusz was supposed to be among the better pitchers in the league last year. He was one of the worst pitchers ever. You can’t fault Dave.
It was also a known fact 40 years ago that losses were “irrelevant”.
That’s like telling me Pat Dobson’s 18 losses in 1973 was a true indicator of how good he really was. All advanced stats aside, losses can be just a matter of bad luck. Or in Guthrie’s case, add that on top of playing for a bad team.
Seating prices range from $10-$65, unless you go to “prime games” when they fleece the NY/Boston fans. Considering most stadiums, it’s cheaper than most.
And if you go to the team website and enter your birthday, you get a free ticket vocher for your birthday month. So there you go! You don’t even have to pay 1 game out of the year! I think you even get a free hotdog and coke!
I was 25. I also was a true believer in the philosophy of Vince Lombardi and Earl Weaver. So, when someone says that wins and losses are “irrelevant” in sports, they obviously are speaking a different language than me. Wins and losses are the only statistic that matter. Everything else is irrelevant. It may be nice to know, but it’s still irrelevant.
Once upon a time, if a player didn’t win, he didn’t eat. It used to work very well for the Orioles. Then they became obsessed with irrelevant statistics, and the results speak for themselves.
Please don’t bother responding to this. If you don’t get it, you never will.
A “pitcher’s” loss is different from a team loss. To neatly place TEAM wins and losses on a pitchers stat sheet is lazy. All great coaches know sports are team games and a pitchers job isn’t to “win” or “lose,” it’s to get batters out.
Actually, when the Orioles failed to evolve with the rest of the game, its when they started failing. This includes advanced statistics. But according to you, every team that adopted this new fangled “philosophy” must be wasting their time. Right. That’s why those same teams advance to the playoffs, and the Orioles are who they are.
Comment by dave in glen burnie — April 2, 2012 @ 4:32 am
or it means not-so-attractive women wearing clothes that were meant for a women 1/3 their size with really bad sun-burned farmers tans, hair that hasn’t been washed in a week, reeking of cigarette smoke, with tattoos on their boob poking out of that tank top that seems to be asking you “Why me? Somebody please wash me ASAP!!!”
They may or may not win the division… but holy frijoles, what a season. Prob stings to see Adam Jones clubbing 30+ bombs huh Dave ;)
Comment by Esteban — September 30, 2012 @ 12:13 pm
Dont quit your day job Dave, ooopppps I’m sorry this is your day job, ok stay away from Vegas would be my next advice.
I know to comment on this now is pilling on after the fact but you deserve every bit of it with your analysis and “greatest miracle” in sports comment.
We need to file your article along side the Boston Globe prediction that the 2011 Red Sox would go down in history as a better team than the 1927 Yankees.
Comment by Genghiskhanoriole — September 30, 2012 @ 1:32 pm
Brilliant analysis! It is truly satisfying to demonstrate once again that statistical know it alls really know nothing at all. This is why they actually play the games rather than just running computer simulations and announcing the winners.
Comment by Tntoriole — September 30, 2012 @ 4:44 pm
I’m not going to pile on here, instead I’m just going to point out that you shouldn’t have so quick to do a 180 from where you place pd the O’s in 2010!
Comment by Tito Landrum — September 30, 2012 @ 5:09 pm
Just once, apparently.
Comment by Moose Milligan — September 30, 2012 @ 5:59 pm
Good analysis bro! How many games did you ever play?
Comment by James Feagin — September 30, 2012 @ 7:07 pm
as a diehard Orioles fan (was there any other kind before this season?) I thought this was a little harsh when it was posted, but also fairly hard to argue with, apart from the Duquette bit which I thought was poorly thought out and a product of jumping on the bash Duquette bandwagon as a result of the Kim fiasco, while ignoring the several good moves he made at creating a solid organizational infrastructure. Probably would have put the O’s ahead of the Astros but that would have been it.
So I’m not going to say anything negative about Dave right now considering that I certainly didn’t know any better, and anyone who says they did is lying to themselves.
I think Dave was probably right to say that “it would take something close to the largest miracle in sports history for the Orioles to win their division this season.” And I think it’s absolutely amazing that it might actually be happening.