20 Orioles Questions for 2013

October 17, 2012 | Thyrl Nelson

20 Orioles Questions for 2013

Now that the Orioles’ season is over and the sting of its untimely end has worn off a bit, it’s finally time to sit back and appreciate the season for what it was. The improbable and unexpected success of the 2012 Orioles is unlike anything we’ve seen in the history of the franchise, and for fans, hopefully something that they’ll never experience again.

While fans have been caught up in the team’s success and are clearly wanting, hoping and expecting more of it in the future, the fourteen years of futility that preceded 2012 and the absolute absence of expectations leading in is what fans must hope is the induplicable part of the experience. It’s also to a very large degree what made 2012 such a special experience in the first place.

 

Now that the team and its fans have tasted that modest success, the tenor of Orioles baseball and the mood surrounding it has changed completely. So as they look ahead to the off-season and to 2013 and beyond, they do so carrying the burden of expectations with them.

 

Now too, the organization and its fans are left to contemplate the questions that confounded casual observers and experts alike throughout their 2012 campaign. Were these Orioles anything more than lucky? Were they just a once in a lifetime convergence of circumstances that we’ll always be at a loss to explain? How much of the success that they achieved in 2012 should have been predictable and how much of it can they reasonably continue to count on moving forward? And most importantly, what steps does the team need to take moving forward in order to continue their success and to build on it?

 

While it seems clear that the Orioles will need to improve themselves to remain competitive in baseball’s most elite division, the inability to pinpoint the sources of their success makes tweaking that formula all the more difficult. It seems that this Orioles team is much more likely, and perhaps best served, to not be too aggressive in remaking themselves and instead might be looking ahead to a season of finding out just how real and duplicable their 2012 successes were, and how predictable they remain.

 

The more things change, the more they stay the same, and despite a much sunnier outlook on 2013, the Orioles still seem to have more questions at hand than answers.

 

Here’s what they’ll have to figure out moving forward. Not only regarding themselves, but also regarding the rest of the division and the new landscape of baseball in general.

 

I’ll come back throughout the next couple of weeks and address them, giving my opinions and seeking yours. But for now let’s just figure out what it is that the front office is trying to assess as they prepare their off-season plan.

 

#1 – Is Mark Reynolds a good risk moving forward?

 

#2 – Is the top of the AL East coming back to the pack?

 

#3 – Are Josh Hamilton and/or Zack Greinke the types of free agents the Orioles should be pursuing?

 

#4 – Who are the types of (or specific) free agents the Orioles should be pursuing?

 

#5 – Is giving long-term contracts to free agents over the age of 30 a byproduct of a bygone (steroid induced) era?

 

#6 – Is there a 2nd baseman on the roster that the Orioles can depend on moving forward or is this the most urgent position to address and therefore easiest position to look to replace?

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3 Comments For This Post

  1. NC Orioles Fan Says:

    Why do you persist in asking about spending on free agents but not asking about home growth through the Orioles five farm teams? Free agents do NOT always live up to expectations hence Albert Pujos and C.J Wilson both from Anaheim who had to watch the playoffs at home.

  2. tsnamm Says:

    All good questions Thyrl… as far as free agents go I’d steer clear of Josh Hamilton because of the off the field issues. I think all that would happen if we did is increase his paycheck from Texas anyway. James Shields has a contract option, and I wonder if Tampa will pick it up and then try and trade him since they positively will not spend the $$$ re-sign him. He would be a great “ace” to anchor the O’s rotation. Maybe see what happens between the Mets and David Wright…if they don’t sign him to a long term contract, maybe work a sign and trade with them for Wright. He’s a .300 hitter 30 HR 100 RBI guy. gold glove 3rd baseman. Then move Machado back to his true SS position,and move JJ to 2B, for an instant upgrade at the plate compared to the .200 Andino and/or perpetually injured BRob. I’d keep Reynolds at 1B; he really played the position well. He’s never going to hit for average, and is a hot and cold power hitter that you’re going to have to live with.But he won’t be super expensive. Strop is not ready for prime time. He proved it in the Sep run, choking against the Yankees walking the park. Its one thing to pitch well in meaningless May games for a loser and quite another to pitch well against the best teams when it counts in a pennant race. Strop showed he’s not ready, and may never be.Definitely extend Buck he worked miracles. Will they spend money? Who knows…they definitely have it. If they don’t trust Duquette to spend it properly for them, then they never will. This off season should be quite interesting. However if they choose to do little or nothing to improve this team, I doubt we will see anything like this season repeated.

  3. JOE HELDMANN Says:

    HI THRYL
    I AM ON VACATION FOR TWO WEEKS IN ITALY AND TODAY WE ARE IN ASSISI. I WAS DELIGHTED TO CHECK AND SEE THAT THE YANKEES WERE AGAIN ELIMINATED.
    MY PROBLEM WITH THE ORIOLES THAT THAT THEY DID NOTHING TO SIGN ANY HITTERS AND IT CAME BACK TO HAUNT THEM. ONCE AGAIN THEY SHOWED HOW CHEAP THEY ARE. I PREDICTED THAT THEY WOULD COME UP SHORT BECAUSE OF ALL THE 220 HITTERS THEY HAVE IN THE LINEUP. REYNOLDS, HARDY, ANDINO, FLANNERTY ETC. WHEN THE BROUGHT IN TAJADA, MYERS SOME OTHERS FOR TRYOUTS IT JUST SHOWED THAT THEY WERE NOT SERIOUS ONCE AGAIN ABOUT WINNING. IF IT WAS NOT FOR THE STATUE GIVE AWAY GAMES THEIR ATTENDANCE WOULD BE A LOT LESS. THEN THEY BOUGHT IN THE GREAT WHITE HOPE, THOME WHO WAS A BUST. SO THEY WILL DO THE SAME THING NEXT YEAR BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY PLAYERS IN THE SYSTEM THAT CAN HIT THE BALL. SO SINCE ANNGELOS IS MAKING MILLIONS AND FANS STILL FLOCK TO THE STADIUM, NOTHING WILL CHANGE.
    I GOT TO GO NOW FOR A TRIP TO A WINERY FOR THE REST OF THE DAY.
    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK BUT DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON BUYING TICKETS TO SEE THE ORIOLES BECAUSE THEY DO NOT APPRECIATE US.
    HAVE A GOOD DAY,
    JOE

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