There are few guarantees in the complex sport of baseball. In fact, it can be suggested that guaranteed results don’t exist. Factors like injury, chemistry and freakin’ luck can and will impact every single big league ballclub, in 2011.
However, unless the above factors emerge , we can expect individual leaders to include names like Hamilton, Pujols, Teixeira, Ichiro, Lincecum, Halladay, Sabathia and Price. At the same time, we’ll also anticipate likely postseason performances by the Yankees, Twins, Phillies, Rangers and Red Sox.
Aside from the things that can derail virtually anything, the above players and teams are built around relative certainty, rather than the fragility associated with “what if ….”
The truth is the Baltimore Orioles are built upon a foundation of HOPE. As much as we’ve fallen in love with Buck Showalter, he’s dependent on an array of possibilities or wagers working out.
He’s hoping …..
Mark Reynolds doesn’t repeat his 2010 season …..
Nolan Reimold, Koji Uehara, Brian Roberts and Felix Pie stay healthy …..
JJ Hardy finds some semblance of his 2007 & 2008 efforts …..
Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman take a step forward …..
Adam Jones matures a little bit …..
Matt Wieters shows progression in his 3rd season …..
Derrek Lee doesn’t repeat his 2009 campaign …..
Should I continue? Trust me, I really do have a few more concerns – I haven’t even addressed the worries with a guy like Kevin Gregg (3.51 ERA, 1.39 WHIP as a CLOSER), the newest member of the bullpen.
Let’s be honest, aside from Nick Markakis, Luke Scott and Jeremy Guthrie, the Orioles possess a lot of question marks entering camp. Whether you’re banking on successes as opposed to failures when considering the above concerns, this is still a team of unknowns and unrealized potentials.
Don’t fall for the same mistake your heart makes every spring. Reserve judgement and see how things unfold. Remember, the manager doesn’t throw or swing at a single pitch. While he might demand professionalism, talent will eventually tell the story.
And, that’s one thing you can bet on …..