Orioles Opening Day; my bold predictions

April 01, 2011 |


Showalter Is Human

Following a remarkable turnaround to finish the 2010 season, Buck Showalter has benefited from a prolonged honeymoon that has lasted through nearly six months of dormant conditions at Camden Yards. While he possesses a resume’ that provides us with every reason to believe he’s capable of steering this team in the right direction, he is not beyond reproach.

The Orioles will endure losing streaks, blown leads/games and squandered opportunities throughout the course of the season. That’s a given for every team, and it usually leads to the manager yielding some “heat” among fans and media. That’s right, Buck’s decisions will ultimately be questioned at points during the season, for better or worse.

While every team experiences those stretches of numerous losses and lapses, the overall reaction to adversity is what also builds the manager’s reputation and credibility. Lucky for Baltimore’s baseball fans, Showalter is among the very best at handling pressure. So, while we’ll finally question him, he’ll still prove he knows far more about the game than us – and that’s a GREAT thing.

The REAL Reynolds? You’ve Seen It

I will be very sincere in prefacing what I’m about to write regarding Mark Reynolds, because he seems like an awfully decent guy, especially in his exposure off the field. And, quite frankly, I don’t like forecasting poor production for any member of the Orioles or Ravens, period.

But, the concern expressed when the Orioles traded for him still lingers within me. In fact, my doubts are growing a little more distinguishable by the day. In totality, I believe Reynolds will face tougher overall pitching in the American League, as opposed to what he saw on the senior circuit. He’s going to struggle with the strikeouts, as imagined.

Will he surpass his previous high of 223 whiffs? If he stays in the lineup, my resounding answer is YES. I think Mark Reynolds is a smart pitcher’s ideal hitter, and his overall numbers will likely include a .220 batting average, 25 homeruns and 230 strikeouts.

On July 31st, They Will Do The RIGHT Thing

I suppose the best way of describing this prediction would be in suggesting “as July 31st approaches, they’ll do the right thing.” And, what I really mean is with a truly RARE exception of being in the hunt for a postseason berth, Andy MacPhail will actively seek ways of improving the overall depth of the organization by aggressively exploring deals involving Lee, Guerrero and other veterans who have buyer-friendly contracts.

While a renewed excitement exists with a bolstered lineup, the Orioles, as an organization will pursue their long term future as the trade deadline approaches. If notable veterans are having productive seasons and prove desirable to competing clubs, it’s understandable to see deals made, even if it means a player of Lee or Guerrero’s caliber is dealt.

I trust they will absolutely do the RIGHT thing. It just might not be the popular thing, and that’s okay with me ……