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brianod

We Are Who We Are - a .500 team

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I've given up hope on a special season. Bottom line is that our starters are average, we have one failed closer and an unproven closer just promoted that looks promising but was on the scrap heap a couple months ago. Our lead off hitter clogs the bases with his lack of speed and has little if any power. Our outfield defense is below average, when we play Cruz, it is abysmal. Our phenom is off of major knee surgery and is unproven offensively. Our #3 hitter is an overrated defensive player who may just be the worst offensive Oriole player I have ever seen in the clutch. Book is, throw him a slider, outside in the dirt, when the O's need a hit. It seems to work 90% of the time. Our blossoming superstar at first looks like a nice #5 or #6 hitter rather then a stud. Our catcher is hurt. Our all-star ss hasn't hit a homerun all season and has reverted to his injury prone past. Schoop is a nice prospect but is very raw. Flaherty seems to have proven he isn't a starting player.

We are lucky to be over .500. We will have ups and downs all year but this team is not special and will not make the playoffs as currently constructed imho.

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I agree it doesn't look pretty right now but with so many players playing so poorly, and a lot of injuries, they are still .5 games out of first. With one of the worst offenses in the AL they are still a .5 game out of first. I don't think there's any question this team can win the division and compete with the Tigers and A's if their best players play like their best players. The only question is will they. They don't even need monster years from anybody, they just need to be productive like they have in the past.

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I agree with you, this is an average team at best. But it doesn't take a lot of luck for an average team to become a contender. Happens all the time. So I'm rooting for the luck.

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At the moment, Detroit and Oakland look like very good teams and everyone else looks mediocre. But a couple of other teams will emerge as being pretty good eventually, and we just have to hope we're one of them. I know this should be a better offensive team than it has shown so far, and still believe the offense will heat up at some point and then people will feel better. I think the pitching pretty much "is what it is," as you say.

Edited by Frobby

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I agree it doesn't look pretty right now but with so many players playing so poorly, and a lot of injuries, they are still .5 games out of first. With one of the worst offenses in the AL they are still a .5 game out of first. I don't think there's any question this team can win the division and compete with the Tigers and A's if their best players play like their best players. The only question is will they. They don't even need monster years from anybody, they just need to be productive like they have in the past.

I know people like to hit the panic button, I understand it. But it's WAY too early for it. All-Star break is when you panic. Half the season plus is over.. and if you are stilling 10 games out.. worry. But if we are at the All-Star break at 1-9 games out and in the WC hunt.. no reason to panic. Kinks will be worked out and it's just a race for the better record in the second half. Good thing is this team is a 2nd half team. Last year it was reversed and it just died out.

Manny, Davis and Wieters (maybe) will be back to normal. Jones will get really hot come June/July like he always does. And maybe the O's do some deals come post draft. So who knows.

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At the moment, Detroit and Oakland look like very good teams and everyone else looks mediocre. But a couple of other teams will emerge as being pretty good eventually, and we just have to hope we're one of them. I know this should be a better offensive team than it has shown so far, and still believe the offense will heat up at some point and then people will feel better. I think the pitching pretty much "is what it is," as you say.

Pitching is pretty solid now. It's offense that's lagging behind and that will come around.

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I believe the Angels are joining the Tigers and Athletics atop the AL pecking order, and with their talent it makes sense (they underachieved last season). They've got a +40 RD and are 8-2 in their last ten games. So that's two division winners and a wild card seemingly taken care of, still very early in the season.

I completely agree with the sentiment that this is not a special team -- and that it doesn't always take a special team to make and go far in the playoffs. There are even a number of World Series champions that muddled around .500 for the first part of the season. The focus should be to win the AL East and let the postseason chips fall where they may.

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With our schedule and injuries, .500 is not the end of the world. Hopefully, we get healthier, better, and make some moves as the season progresses. May is not the time to panic about a .500 team.

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I've given up hope on a special season. Bottom line is that our starters are average, we have one failed closer and an unproven closer just promoted that looks promising but was on the scrap heap a couple months ago. Our lead off hitter clogs the bases with his lack of speed and has little if any power. Our outfield defense is below average, when we play Cruz, it is abysmal. Our phenom is off of major knee surgery and is unproven offensively. Our #3 hitter is an overrated defensive player who may just be the worst offensive Oriole player I have ever seen in the clutch. Book is, throw him a slider, outside in the dirt, when the O's need a hit. It seems to work 90% of the time. Our blossoming superstar at first looks like a nice #5 or #6 hitter rather then a stud. Our catcher is hurt. Our all-star ss hasn't hit a homerun all season and has reverted to his injury prone past. Schoop is a nice prospect but is very raw. Flaherty seems to have proven he isn't a starting player.

We are lucky to be over .500. We will have ups and downs all year but this team is not special and will not make the playoffs as currently constructed imho.

I think you are totally missing what is special about 2014 Orioles. Its can be described in two words. Pitching and Defense.

The O's are third in ERA in the AL in May.

Tigers - 2.19 ERA

A's - 3.17 ERA

O's - 3.32 ERA

And its is likely to continue throughout the summer and into the fall. The O's pitching is better that anyone in the AL East. Why? Two things:

1) Dave Wallace and Dom Chiti seem to have the ability to fix the mechanics of their pitchers in the majors. That is something the Adair rarely did. He is would send struggling pitchers to the minors for Griffin to the fix. But he didn't seem to have the ability to keep them in sync in the majors if their mechanics went bad.

2) Pitching Depth - The O's have or will soon have 6 major league starters. They had trouble keeping 5 the past two years. Look at the May stats for the starters:

Jimenez - 2.19 ERA

Chen - 2.60 ERA

Norris - 2.77 ERA

Tillman - 3.28 ERA

Gonzalez - 3.95 ERA

And in a month Gausman will join the major league staff.

The O's have found Britton as closer and O'Day, Webb, Matusz, and Patton all have good track records. Tommy Hunter as a setup guy where Buck can pick his spots was really good last year and should be good again this year. McFarland and Guilmet both show potential. And one of the starters a likely to end up in the pen.

And then their is Johan Santana and whatever to can bring.

The O's defense is first in the majors in fielding percentage. Its a heck of any advantage in lower runs allowed. Manny, Hardy, Schoop/Flaherty and Davis are solid and dynamite in turning the double play. The outfield defense does well. You can talk all you want about the lack of range of Jones and Markakis but they are both above average defenders. Cruz catches what he gets to and is more mobile then many give him credit for being. And Buck will keep a 4th OFer that is a good defensive guy whether that be Lough or someone else.

Clevenger and Joseph do a good job of calling games and playing defense. They don't have Wieters arm or his bat but catcher will not make or break whether this team makes the playoffs.

The O's will hit probably hit 200 homers this season. The addition of Cruz offsets any loss that may happen with Wieters. No they are not a good OBP team. But they will score enough to be in the playoff race. That is as sure as hot weather is coming. The O's make the ball fly in the summer.

The pitching and defense makes the O's special and make them a playoff contender. That is the way I see it.

Edited by wildcard
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Maybe next year they will address OBP.

In the offseason to get to contention I felt the O's needed to sign Ubaldo (suprisingly did) and Choo. Choo was the one and only guy that could have turned this offense around, while also improving the defense and providing a base stealing threat. He was everything the O's needed.

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Ah more of the same, some people looking for any excuse to proclaim the team dead. It seemed to happen every other day last season. How about we actually wait until August and September to say what this team is or isn't?

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It's not just that this team has been playing close to .500 ball for a month and a half......they have been playing at that clip for over a year now. I am not sure why we should expect that the team should just take off after such a long .500 stretch.

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On the one hand, I agree with everything said by the OP. You have honed in on the teams flaws. (One point I would add: our players who overachieved the first half of last year - notably Chris and Manny - have regressed this year, to the point that their second half 2013 may be their ceiling rather than their norm). Overall, this is a good but flawed team.

On the other hand, we are a .500 team -- viewed with the glass half full, at least we are not a below .500 team. Also, I like the fact that offense is our weakness. I feel it is easier for an offense to get hot than it is for a pitching staff. Our pitching is there, our defense is there. We had a top 5 offense last year with most of the same players so I don't think it's unreasonable to think that our offense may improve.

It's disappointing to end up with a 2-2 split after taking the first two games, but KC is a tough team with great pitching, exactly what we don't want to see when our offense is struggling. The one team that totally dominated us - DET - just swept Boston too for what it's worth.

Looking ahead, this section of our schedule has some winnable series. Two vs. PIT, four vs CLE, three vs MIL, four vs HOU. This should be a good test for us. If we are still at .500 or below after this stretch, I would say yes, we are in deep trouble. I think 8-5 is a realistic goal, which would put us at 5 games over .500 going into june. Not great but could be a whole lot worse.

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It's not just that this team has been playing close to .500 ball for a month and a half......they have been playing at that clip for over a year now. I am not sure why we should expect that the team should just take off after such a long .500 stretch.

While "expect" is a strong word, I'm optimistic mostly due to what wildcard said.

In simple terms,

1. Pitching has improved

2. The lineup is massively underperforming

3. They're still above .500 having played about the toughest schedule of any team to date

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