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Jonah Keri: Even Year Orioles Magic


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http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/from-historic-power-to-duquette-magic-the-orioles-have-a-blueprint-for-winning/

Dan Duquette has done it again. USATSI

He's done it again in Baltimore. Duquette did inherit some good talent from the previous, Andy MacPhail-led regime, starting with the 2008 Erik Bedard blockbuster that netted Tillman and Adam Jones and ranks among the most lopsided trades in baseball history. It's also true that Showalter has left his imprint on the organization in a way that goes beyond what a typical placeholder manager might do, both in his on-field handling of the roster and in providing some input with player acquisitions. Even Peter Angelos deserves credit for finally opening his wallet again: Chris Davis' $161 million contract might not work out in the long run, but he's certainly a valuable asset in the here and now.

Still, the list of Duquette steals on the roster is a long one. Rookie Hyun Soo Kim has done more to boost the team's OBP than anyone, batting a lofty .339/.431/.458 after a slow start to the season; Duquette nabbed him from Korea on an outrageously thrifty two-year, $7 million deal. Pedro Alvarez hasn't been great, but as a left-handed stick putting up league-average numbers on a one-year, $5.75 million deal, the O's will gladly take it. Brach came in a trade with the Padres in November 2013, costing basically nothing after San Diego designated him for assignment.

The coup de grace is Mark Trumbo. Where other teams saw a one-dimensional player with no speed, subpar defense, and big holes in his swing, Duquette saw a slugger whose power could play so well at Camden Yards that it would more than make up for those other defects. On Dec. 2, Duquette acquired Trumbo and reliever C.J. Riefenhauser for backup catcher Steve Clevenger. Trumbo's numbers this season? .282/.332/.562, with a major league-leading 23 home runs.

The Orioles could face some formidable opponents in the second half, with the Red Sox likely to add pitching talent to their loaded lineup, and the Blue Jays likely to augment their bullpen in support of a red-hot offense and a rotation that's received surprising contributions from Marco Estrada and Aaron Sanchez.

But there's a blueprint here. Bash opponents into submission, limp to the sixth inning, then let the bullpen do the rest. Add a little starting pitching help at the deadline, plus the American League equivalent of #EvenYear magic, and the O's very well might do it again.

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Another orange-and-black team has had "Even Year Magic" lately, also.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, 2014, and after a sub-par start to the 2016 season (7-10), they have been the hottest team in baseball ever since (43-21.)

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Another orange-and-black team has had "Even Year Magic" lately, also.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, 2014, and after a sub-par start to the 2016 season (7-10), they have been the hottest team in baseball ever since (43-21.)

That's mentioned at the outset of the article, which is much longer than the quoted portion.

I like Jonah Keri. He always tries to understand why a team is succeeding or failing, instead of just harrumphing that the teams will regress to the mean.

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That's mentioned at the outset of the article, which is much longer than the quoted portion.

I like Jonah Keri. He always tries to understand why a team is succeeding or failing, instead of just harrumphing that the teams will regress to the mean.

I think this gets lost sometimes.

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