The questions will come up a lot over the next few days and weeks: Was the 2013 season a failure for the Orioles, and should fans be disappointed?
The answers to those questions will be yes and yes for many of you, I would expect. After making the playoffs and winning 93 games last season, a playoff berth was a fair and realistic expectation for the 2013 Orioles, and they didn't make it.
But where does that leave the Orioles as fans begin to look to the future? One writer believes they're in pretty good shape. In his column in the New York Post yesterday, Ken Davidoff wrote this of the O's season:
"However, it would be a mistake to mark this down as a year of regression. Instead, 2013 should be marked down as a season of confirmation, in which Buck Showalter, GM Dan Duquette and the Baltimore players showed last season was no fluke."
He goes to say this, citing our old friend, run differential:
"Yet these Orioles' overall 715-676 run differential reflects their overall progress. While Machado's situation is a huge concern, they still have young, talented, under-control players in the fold, such as Most Valuable Player candidate Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Chris Tillman. Young pitcher Kevin Gausman, the fourth overall pick in last year's draft, scuffled in the big leagues, but he's only 22 and will be given more time. The Orioles' other young pitching stud, Dylan Bundy, the fourth overall pick of the 2011 draft, underwent Tommy John surgery in June."
So it was a far from perfect year for the Orioles. Yet coming off one of the more statistically eye-catching campaigns in recent baseball history, they showed they weren't going to slide back into the hole from which they posted 14 consecutive losing seasons. They're going to hang around, which is of course bad news for the Yankees.
Davidoff makes several interesting points, chief among them that the O's mostly young and solid position player nucleus bodes well for the future and that the disappointment of a year without October baseball doesn't mean the future will not be solid for this franchise.
What are your thoughts on these thoughts?