Sports Outside the Beltway


via BallBug

Honestly, I don’t know how a baseball team “sends a message” but apparently the Orioles aren’t intending to send any as they swept the Blue Jays. At least not yet.

The Orioles, almost to a man, insist that they’re not trying to send any messages. Not to opponents, not to the rest of the league, not to all of baseball. If they beat a division rival, the only significance is that they’ve won another game. Each one counts the same. Leave it to everyone else to find special meaning in a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, which they completed with today’s 7-3 victory before 27,285 at Camden Yards. Or the five wins in six tries against the Blue Jays and New York Yankees. And let’s not forget their hold on second place in the American League East. “We’re just going out and trying to play good baseball,” manager Sam Perlozzo said. “It’s April. When it’s August and we’re still whipping up on somebody, then we can talk about sending a message. We’ve got a long way to go.”

In 2004, the Orioles had two good months (including a number of odd Thursday comebacks). In 2005 they were good until the end of June. But the result both years was the same. They collapsed and ended up in the purgatory of 4th place. In 2005, they were one of the best teams. Second to the White Sox during those months. The offense led by Tejada and Roberts was tremendous and the pitching was also excellent.

 A quick look at the current stats shows that the Orioles have the 7th best offense in the AL (by OPS). (#1 for what it’s worth are the Yankees. Think they miss Sheffield?) In pitching the team is #5 in the AL in pitching according to ERA and #4 by OPS allowed.

My guess is that the O’s offense is probably where I’d expect it to be, but offense seems down across the AL. The average OPS last year was .776 and in 2005 it was .754, right now it’s .728.

 My guess is that sooner or later the offense will return to a somewhat higher level and that O’s pitching will decline a bit and the offense will remain where it is. Right now my hopes for a .500 season seem good if premature.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad.

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