A Little Perspective Please

September 04, 2013 | Dwayne Showalter

Perspective is always necessary for fans of sports teams.  I think I have read more comments recently regarding the Baltimore Orioles that include the words “terrible” or “pitiful” or “worthless” than I have in quite some time.  And those words were very applicable from 1998-2011.  I don’t think they are warranted in 2013 though.

I made a bet with a friend at work over the winter that the O’s wouldn’t win 87 games this season.  They still could I suppose.  A respectable 14-10 finish would be needed.  But at this point, even that probably won’t be good enough to post back-to-back playoff seasons.

Why did I bet against the team for which I grew up living and dying each summer night?  Because I could not see a team that lost for 14 straight seasons suddenly becoming a year-in and year-out contender.  It takes time to transform from perennial loser.  I also understood that a 29-9 record in one run games was clearly not attainable again.  This season’s 15-25 record ranks 29th out of 30 big league clubs.

There are a couple thoughts that keep coming back to my head as a watch what I think can adequately now be called a tailspin.  Take away last year’s magic season for a moment.  What would you think about the Orioles this year?  What if we could have flipped the two seasons??  Would the same comments be written about a club closing in on its first winning season of the millennium?

I’m going to guess right now that the 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates will suffer some of the same hangover type symptoms the Orioles have suffered this year.

I believe the Orioles are still headed in the right direction under my Uncle Buck.  They have a relatively young core.  Jones is a stud.  Machado has all the tools.  Davis and Wieters are still young.  I hope Nick Markakis is still smarting from the wrist injury last season.  If he can get back on track next season, the offense should be in good shape.

I love Gausman’s arm.  But as much as he can look like Nolan Ryan on some at-bats, he can look like Jake Arrieta on others.  Miguel Gonzalez has bulldog qualities despite his recent slump.  He reminds me of Mike Boddicker.

There are some holes for sure.  But as hopes for 2013 begin to fade, I think they might be better next year.  And I haven’t said that in years.  I wish all Orioles fans could enjoy what I would term the success of 2013.  We all need a little perspective.  And with the Ravens coming off the Super Bowl victory eight months ago, I hope we can all show some that same perspective as they travel through their season starting in Denver tonight.