First of all, happy new year to everyone. As this holiday season is coming to a close, I hope it's been special and wonderful for all of you.
Now, back to baseball. Some fans have already made some dire predictions for the 2014 Orioles. They have predicted fourth place. They have predicted a losing record. Heck, one reader here predicted 72 wins the other day.
Do you all really believe that? Or is that just venting over the offseason to date?
As we officially begin a new year today - a few months before we officially begin a new baseball year - let's get the pulse of the fans once again.
How many games will the Orioles win in 2014 with the players currently on the roster?
Keep a few things in mind. The Orioles won 85 games last season. They did that after finishing with a losing record in August and September (26-28), a losing record on the road (39-42), a losing record against the American League East (36-40) and a losing record in one-run games (20-31).
The 2013 Orioles finished 10th in the American League in team ERA and 12th in starting pitcher ERA. That team's closer suffered nine blown saves, the O's had a late six-game losing streak and they didn't hit much at all during the last month.
They still won 85 games.
Keep that in mind before you predict 72 wins for the coming season.
Also keep in mind the O's led the majors with six Gold Glove finalists (they had three winners) and three Silver Slugger winners. They had two of the four players in the majors in J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones that won both a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger.
The 2013 Orioles set several major league fielding records and were the fifth team in O's history to hit both 200 doubles and homers. The players that made that happen are returning in 2014.
Not trying to paint a rosy picture here, just presenting facts. But let none of this sway you at all if you have a negative, even dire opinion, right now.
How many games do you see the Orioles winning next season right now?