OK, so those two games with the A’s didn’t go so well. And yes, I’m well aware that “Bah-stun” is heading into town for a quick 2-game set at “Fenway Park at Camden Yards” in front of 20,000 of THEIR faithful and 12,000 Baltimore fans. I’m with ya.
But let’s sit back for a second and review what’s transpired since April 3rd.
Through 20 games, the Birds are 11-9. You know what that means? They’re two games above .500 right now. Let’s take the season in 8, 20-game increments, equaling 160 games (and we’ll allow them to go 1-1 in the other 2 games to create the 162 total).
Would you take 8 x 11-9? I would. That would put them, if my math serves me correct, at 88-72…plus one more win and one more loss to equal 162 games. And a record of 89-73. Who out there, right now, wouldn’t take that?
Anyone? Of course you would. The whole Orioles organization would be happy to say, “you give us 89 wins right now and we won’t step on the field again this season.” After 9 years of slowly becoming the Arizona Cardinals of the American League, you can rest assured an 89-win campaign in 2007 would be acceptable to any and all.
You’re living in fantasy land if, at this moment, you’re muttering, “I think they SHOULD be better than 89-73 at season’s end”.
But right now, they’re 11-9. They’ve played three in Minnesota, three in New York and three at home against the Tigers. I know, I know, they’re 3-6 in those 9 games. Well, they probably SHOULD be 3-6 in those 3-series’, truth be known, because those three teams are better than Baltimore’s team.
Please understand this: I’m NOT saying you can expect the O’s to go 11-9 in each 20-game segment. I’ve said, at best, they’re an 85-win team in ’07. All I’m asking you to do – as a fan – is come up with some measuring stick that you’re willing to abide by throughout the season to keep from the inevitable “up, down, up, down, up, down” that you get with a .500 club. I choose to look at 20-game segments in baseball as the way to evaluate a team’s performance.
Did they swallow the brain-fart pill sometime on Monday and did it stay in their system for a couple of days vs. Oakland? Absolutely.
There were some bush-league mistakes made in the last two days, but I’m telling you, those things happen in a 162-game season and they also have a way of evening out over the course of a 6-month schedule.
Did the bats go silent at the worst possible times against Oakland? Yes.
Did our previously-impenetrable relief corps get touched up a bit Monday and Tuesday? Yep. Gonna happen, though.
Remember this: “You’re never playing as well as you think you are when you’re winning and you’re never playing as poorly as you think you are when you’re losing.”
Baseball is a long freakin’ season. Too long, in my opinion. And that’s why you have to take these ups and downs and just roll with them. You’ll drive yourself batty if you let every individual game get you worked up into a frenzy.
Did I mention Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett are on tap to pitch for the Red Sox on Wednesday and Thursday?