I know most of you hate the O's, but I don't and neither does beloved mascot Professor Bacon. He likes them so much that sometimes he changes colors to Orioles orange and makes me call him Professor Old Baycon. He even squeals in a Hairspray accent.
"Feed me an apple from down'ere, hon."
And it's only going to get worse for Baltimore, since about half of these guys are free agents at the end of the season. It's too bad. I kinda like the O's, and I really like meaningful baseball programming on MASN.
A couple notes on our orange friends:
1. Ownership is still terrible. If you're in the AL East, this is the time to go for it. The Red Sox are lousy, and the Yankees are only pretty good. For the other denizens of the division, this is an opening. The Blue Jays realized this, so they upgraded in the offseason and then at the trade deadline acquired probably 10% of all the non-Nats players in baseball that I know the names of.
The Orioles, meanwhile, came off a 96 win season in a wide-open division and did . . . nothing. Well, not nothing. They got Travis Snyder, who, it turns out, didn't quite make up for losing Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis.
It's bad enough that Peter Angelos is evil; he's cheap, too.
2. Buck Showalter is really good at his job. I mean, yeah, it didn't work so much this year, but getting last year's team to 96 wins is an argument for sainthood.
It wasn't that strong a team to begin with, and then a hundred things went wrong. Chris Davis was terrible and then suspended. Manny Machado played half a season, and Matt Wieters played, like, 15% of one. The closer couldn't close.
Yet somehow he was able to get this ragtag bunch of misfits to a division title. Here's a man who knew just when to use Delmon Young, who got an 877 OPS out of Alejandro De Aza and 930 from Steve Pearce. When he realized Tommy Hunter couldn't close, he booted him out of there and tried one who could.
It didn't last. Delmon Young turned back into Delmon Young, and the number 3 starters became number 5 starters. That doesn't take anything from 2014, though. It was a heck of a managerial performance. You could even call it masterful.