Life goes on at One Winning Drive for this simple reason — Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta and Pat Moriarty and the rest of the “team” over there know what they’re doing. Period. That’s it. They’re smarter than everyone else.
Now, there’s always a chance you take a step back to an 8-8 football team, no matter if you’re the Ravens, the Patriots or anyone else with a good roster. How many times next season will the visiting team botch the final thirty seconds and miss a game-winning field goal like Dallas did in Baltimore last October? How many 4th and 29′s will the Ravens convert in the final minute of the game? Will you kick three field goals against someone and still manage to steal a win like Baltimore did against a woeful KC team a season ago?
I’m smart enough to know s**t happens in the NFL and you can’t win ‘em all, but to sit here on March 13 and start waving the white flag is just silly. No one’s roster in the league is even half-way close to being finalized and people in Baltimore are already packing it in.
Finally, there’s one more piece of business to handle and then I’ll roll.
If only the sports fans in Baltimore held the Orioles to the same standards they hold the Ravens to, we might not have endured fourteen straight years of losing, the last half dozen of which appeared to be intentional.
The Orioles have signed exactly one top level free agent in the last 15 years — Albert Belle.
The Orioles have signed about fifteen free agent DUDS in the last 15 years.
They’ve made a habit of never spending any money on good free agents during the off-season.
From 1998-2011, they were the laughingstock of the American League East.
And since 2006, when the team’s owner debuted his regional sports network, the community has chipped in hundreds of millions of dollars and the franchise has still refused to dip its toe in the waters of free agency.
Somehow, though, that’s all acceptable with the baseball fans in town.
The Ravens, meanwhile, have won two Super Bowls since 2000. They’ve made the post-season eight times in twelve seasons. They’ve signed quality free agent after quality free agent along the way.
All the Ravens have done…is win.
All the Orioles have done…is lost.
And when the Orioles stuff the fan’s money in their pockets, no one says a word.
When the Ravens don’t sign anyone in the first two hours of free agency and lose a couple of effective-but-nothing-special players, all hell breaks loose and folks start calling for the GM’s head.
It’s amazing that people aren’t more in touch with reality here in Baltimore.
Maybe all of that winning the Ravens have done has clouded everyone’s judgment on what has taken place over the last decade or so with both teams in town.