Now, finally, it’s “y time”.
As in: Orioles 81-76 (y)
And then, the notation: (y) indicates team has been eliminated from the post-season
There will be lots of time over the winter to go through the season on a player-by-player basis and ask the questions that need to be asked and search for the answers:
> What’s happened to the bat of Nick Markakis?
> Is Nate McLouth the left-fielder in 2014 or do the Birds need an upgrade there?
> After a sizzling first half at the plate, Manny Machado took a dump with the bat in the final 70 games. Why?
> Who’s the 2nd baseman in 2014 and beyond?
> And the 2014 closer will be…??
Those answers will be bandied about over the next four months, part of “Hot Stove Talk” on the D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction. Back when the team stunk and they weren’t really trying to win, there wasn’t much off-season discussion because the club wasn’t doing anything to improve. Now, with two straight seasons of meaningful September baseball under their belt, the Orioles are in position to creatively add some quality players and make another post-season run in 2014.
For now, the immediate reflection on 2013 is simple, to me anyway. This team’s offense, while power-packed, lived – and died – by the home run. Their inability to generate runs with timely hits and better plate discipline turned out to be their death knell.
Case in point: The Birds have now gone 21 straight games without scoring more than five runs in a game. They haven’t endured a streak like that since 1992. That’s 21 years ago if math isn’t your strong suit.
That means, as Pedro Cerrano said in “Major League”: Bats no listen.
Despite the struggles of Jim Johnson and a starting rotation that was inconsistent, the story of the season, for me, was the Orioles’ failure to produce the big hit in the big moment with men standing on the bases. It happened over and over and over and over and over and over and — should I keep going? — over and over and over.
How does “that” get fixed?
Better players, for one.
Let’s see if they go get ‘em in the off-season.
I don’t care who you are, that Jason Giambi home run from Tuesday night gives you a shiver up your spine if you love sports.
Much like Baltimore, Cleveland hasn’t had a whole lot of baseball success over the last five years. That might change this season if the Indians hold on over the next five games, but Giambi’s walk-off dinger in the bottom of the 9th could be one of the most memorable moments in franchise history if Cleveland does, in fact, make it into the post-season.
It was one helluva moment.
Someone came up to me yesterday at the annual Ruth’s Chris golf tournament and the discussion kicked-in about the Orioles revoking our media credentials (mine and Luke’s) three weeks ago.
The guy was clearly trying to troll me. I could tell from the beginning he was either a FM station “plant” or just anti-WNST but he started on about “Free The Birds” and some other garbage that just proved he isn’t in touch with reality.
I threw the question out there that I’ve been asking all of the contrarians over the last three weeks. It’s simple:
“Do you think the Orioles were right revoking our credentials?”
Just answer THAT question.
His reply: ”You guys are just making a mountain out of a molehill. You keep talking about it like you’re not allowed to watch the games. You guys can still cover the team. You can watch the games on TV and even buy a ticket and sit in the stands and do your coverage there.”
Damn, why didn’t Luke and I think of that?