The Baltimore Orioles haven’t been good for a number of years now. The final time they reached the playoffs was 2016. The final time they reached the ALCS, they acquired swept by the Royals and so they’ve completed final of their division in 4 of the final 5 seasons.
Being within the powerful AL East doesn’t assist. Baltimore isn’t enjoying significantly poorly in 2022, sitting at 35-40, the most effective of any final place crew in MLB this yr. Hell, that win proportion (.467) is healthier than each different fourth-place crew in MLB as properly. It’s been an extended, arduous highway full of heartache, disappointment, and gamers calling Camden Yards a joke, however by golly, the Orioles simply achieved one thing they haven’t executed in virtually 5 years: successful extra video games than they misplaced in a calendar month.
Yesterday, the Orioles gained their recreation in Seattle, 9-2. That win pushed their document in June to 14-10. With solely two video games left this month, the Orioles have formally clinched their first successful month since August 2017! Rejoice Baltimore! The Orioles may not be flying excessive, however at the very least their ft are off the bottom!
Is it a hole victory? Sure, but it surely reveals that the crew is transferring in the correct course. I imply, you’d anticipate as a lot given all of the expertise they’ve acquired over time by way of trades and the draft, however no person thought it could occur this yr. Positive, Adley Rutschman made his long-awaited debut in late Might, however he hasn’t set the world on hearth. His OPS+ at present sits at 107, good however not nice. Cedric Mullins definitely hasn’t been the identical participant he was in 2021. Everyone simply kind of anticipated the Orioles to roll over and give attention to rebuilding once more in 2021, particularly with John Means sidelined for therefore lengthy.
However they actually aren’t. Regardless of huge curiosity from a number of groups, the Orioles apparently have no real interest in buying and selling anymore of their star gamers, except for possibly Trey Mancini, however he’s additionally one of many oldest gamers on the crew’s roster and would be the costliest participant on the Orioles’ payroll not named Chris Davis in 2023. Boy, that’s nonetheless powerful to listen to.
Do the Orioles have a shot on the playoffs this yr? Hell no! Nevertheless, it’s good to see a crew with zero championship aspirations really go for it. We’ve grow to be so used to seeing groups promote the farm to maintain reloading on prospects. It’s one in all MLB’s greatest issues. Initially of the season, there are solely about twelve groups that basically have a shot at a World Collection title. Everyone is aware of this so the groups that don’t have a shot haven’t any motive to attempt to compete aside from to see if they will get prospects out of a few of their higher, older gamers with expiring contracts. Positive, often a crew will emerge from the depths out of nowhere to make a playoff run, however these are outliers. I imply there may be actually just one crew in MLB this yr above .500 who went underneath .500 final season, the Minnesota Twins. That’s it. The opposite groups know they will’t win a title, so that they make like Oakland or Cincinnati and dump all their finest gamers to gas their limitless cycle of rebuilding.
However not the Orioles. They march into the daunting AL East head-on, bracing for affect, however welcoming it. You may’t assist however root for them. Who doesn’t need to see the birds take down the Yankees or Pink Sox? Who doesn’t need to see a ragtag group of twenty-something yr olds have enjoyable enjoying the most effective baseball their crew has seen in years? Who doesn’t need to see the Orioles transfer their fences again to be able to stop dwelling runs and see it work?!
The Orioles have been making a living strikes for some time now, and I feel it’s time we begin giving them a little bit credit score. Possibly not respect simply but, however credit score the place credit score’s due.