The Baltimore Orioles haven’t been that good for several years now. The last time they made it to the knockouts was 2016. The last time they made it to the ALCS, they were to scan by the Royals and they have finished last in their division in four of the past five seasons.
Being in the tough AL East doesn’t help. Baltimore played not particularly poorly in 2022, sitting at 35-40, the best run of any final team in the MLB this year. Damn, that win rate (.467) is also higher than every other 4th place team in MLB. It’s been a long, arduous road, full of pain, disappointment and players call Camden Yards a jokeBut strangely enough, Orioles had just done what they hadn’t done in nearly five years: win more games than they lost in a calendar month.
Yesterday, the Orioles won their game in Seattle, 9-2. That win pushed their record for June to 14-10. With just two games left this month, Orioles has officially hit its first winning month since August 2017! Cheer up Baltimore! Orioles may not fly high, but at least their feet don’t touch the ground!
Is it an empty win? Yes, but it shows that the team is on the right track. I mean, you’d expect as much with all the talent they’ve had over the years through deals and drafts, but nobody thought that would happen this year. Sure, Adley Rutschman had his long-awaited debut at the end of May, but he still hasn’t set the world on fire. His OPS+ is currently at 107, good but not great. Cedric Mullins is certainly not a player like him in 2021. Everyone expects Orioles to roll and focus on rebuilding in 2021, especially with John Means sidelined for so long.
But they really aren’t. Although big interest from several teamsThe Orioles don’t seem interested in buying or selling their star players anymore, aside from Trey Mancini, but he’s also one of the oldest players on the team’s roster and will be the most expensive. in Orioles’ payroll. Chris Davis in 2023. Boy, that’s still hard to hear.
Will Orioles win a place in the knockout stages this year? Oh my god no! Still, it’s great to see a team with no championship aspirations actually win it. We’re used to teams selling farms to keep reloading leads. That’s one of MLB’s biggest problems. At the start of the season, only about 12 teams actually won the World Series title. Everyone knows this so teams with no slots have no reason to try to compete other than to see if they can get prospects from some better, older players with contracts expiring. or not. Sure, sometimes a team will emerge from the depths out of nowhere to make the playoffs, but those are the exceptions. I mean there’s really only one team in this year’s MLB over .500 that had a team under .500 last season, the Minnesota Twins. That’s it. Other teams know they can’t win a title, so they do like Oakland or Cincinnati and sell off all of their best players to fuel their endless rebuilding cycle.
But not Orioles. They head straight into AL East with difficulty, prepared for impact, but welcoming it. You can’t help but root them. Who doesn’t want to see birds take down the Yankees or the Red Sox? Who doesn’t want to see a ragtag group of twenties having fun playing the best baseball their team has seen in years? Who wouldn’t want to see Orioles move their fence to prevent running home and see it in action?!
Orioles have been making money for a while, and I think it’s time we start giving them credit. Maybe not yet, but the credit is due.