Some quick takes today and please jump in with comments and opinions as you provide your takes on mine.
The Toronto Blue Jays, 2013 American League East champs?: Pardon me if I wait for them to play the season before attending the Blue Jays' victory parade. No, the Orioles don't need to counter this move. This is not chess, or the Red Sox and Yankees. The Orioles need to make moves to try and improve their team and that held true before the big Miami-Toronto trade and still does.
I'm impressed with the potential of the Jays rotation when you add Josh Johnson and Mark Buerhle to be not just good, but possibly great. But adding Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford didn't win anything for Boston. The Yankees have a team full of high-dollar All-Stars and barely held off the Orioles this year. The Angels were the darlings last December, adding Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, then missed the 2012 playoffs. The Rangers added Yu Darvish. Yes, the pitcher the Orioles beat when they ended their season.
Don't we have plenty of examples to show us that success for Toronto next season is far from a given? The Blue Jays made a bold move and improved their team on paper. But it's still the AL East and other teams, including the Orioles, will have a few things to say about how Toronto does come April.
The Orioles can't stand pat and hope to win 93 games again: I get this one a lot. First of all, no one, including Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette, said anything about standing pat.
We all know the Orioles are unlikely to win all those close games again. But it also could be unlikely that players like Nick Markakis, Jason Hammel and Nolan Reimold will miss so many games again. It's pretty unlikely that Manny Machado will start next year in the minors.
Do Showalter and Duquette seem like a duo that will sit back and rest on their 2012 success? Yeah, I don't think so either.
Ken Burns is the man: MLB Network has been re-airing some of Ken Burns' amazing documentary, "Baseball." It first aired on PBS in 1994 and features more than 18 hours about the history of the game. It is awesome and provides a great offseason fix to watch it again. Nothing to add to that, just that it's been great to watch it again. It's must-see TV for me.
Strikeouts are overrated: This discussion came up in the comments on yesterday's blog about Mark Reynolds. He strikes out a lot and that drives some fans crazy. I don't know why, but most home run hitters do strikeout often. It comes with the territory and the big swing.
We know that Reynolds will probably make at least 75 outs out of every 100 at-bats. How he makes those outs doesn't bother me. Yes, I know you can make productive outs that help the team. But hitting 35 homers helps the team, too, and so does playing Gold Glove-caliber defense at first base. Reynolds will strike out a lot. It's one of the worst-kept secrets in the game. Don't let it bother you.
The Price was right: David Price became the first member of the Tampa Bay Rays to win the AL Cy Young Award. He doesn't figure to be the last. Price went 10-2 with a 2.51 ERA against AL East opponents. I'm still trying to figure out how Tampa missed the playoffs, as well as the Rays staff pitched during the second half.
Happy birthday to you: The Orioles no longer have a teenage pitching phenom. Dylan Bundy turns 20 today. His first full season went pretty well, don't you think? We no longer hear the critics ripping the Orioles for how they handled him. That is because there is nothing to criticize.