It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.
Hall of Famers John Wooden and Earl Weaver preached it. The phrase serves as the title of Weaver’s autobiography.
I’m using it this morning to lead everyone into my latest offseason collection of random facts. And most important, what we learned from them.
No need to dig too deeply. Sometimes the answers are lying on the surface.
Also, don’t overlook an orchid while searching for a rose. Or something like that.
* The Orioles were 18-11 when they scored first.
Keep trying to score first.
* The Orioles were 20-1 when leading after the sixth inning, 21-1 after the seventh and 20-1 after the eighth.
Keep trying to lead after the fifth inning.
* The Orioles were 2-28 when trailing after the sixth inning, 2-21 after the seventh and 1-23 after the eighth.
If at all possible, avoid trailing after the fifth.
* The Orioles were 1-23 when scoring three runs or fewer and 24-12 when scoring four runs or more.
Don’t stop scoring after three runs.
* The Orioles were 1-22 when outhit by their opponent.
Get more hits than your opponent.
* The Orioles were 6-14 in series openers.
Skip the opener and jump right into the second game.
* The Orioles were 10-6 in day games.
Play more day games.
* Orioles hitters ranked first in the American League and third in the majors with a .273 batting average on the road. They led the AL and ranked sixth in the majors with a .767 team OPS on the road.
Play more games on the road.
* The Orioles led the majors with a 1.61 ERA in the seventh inning.
Hope that Major League Baseball continues to play seven-inning doubleheaders.
* On the first pitch of a plate appearance, the Orioles led the majors in batting average (.409) and ranked second in the American League and fifth in the majors in OPS (1.089). They were second in the AL and fourth in the majors in doubles (20) and tied for the AL lead in hits (90) and tied for fifth in the majors on the first pitch.
* The Orioles led the majors with 16 bunt hits in 2020.
Keep bunting, too.
* Alex Cobb posted a 6.30 ERA in the third inning and owns a career 4.76 ERA in the third, his highest mark in any inning.
Make Cobb the opener or just hope that the third is a glitch and he works deep into his starts.
* Dean Kremer didn’t allow a run in the fourth through sixth innings and held opponents to a .087 average with seven strikeouts.
Stick with Kremer if he struggles in the first or second.
* Reliever Shawn Armstrong committed his first career error on Aug. 1. He’s appeared in 122 games.
Trust Armstrong’s fielding.
* Travis Lakins Sr. and Thomas Eshelman tied for the team lead in wins with three.
Stop obsessing over a pitcher’s win total.
* Austin Hays raised his average from .203 to .279 after coming off the injured list.
Hays is better when he isn’t on the injured list.
* Hays batted .306 in 14 interleague games.
Do not remove Hays from the lineup against the National League.
* Cedric Mullins batted .305/.348/.448 (32-for-105) against right-handers and .171/.216/.286 (6-for-35) against left-handers.
If Mullins ends up in a platoon role, play him against right-handers.
* Rio Ruiz batted .289/.308/.474 against left-handers and .204/.280/.415 against right-handers.
If Ruiz ends up on a platoon, play him against left-handers.
* Pat Valaika was 14-for-35 (.400) with five home runs when leading off an inning.
Valaika might not be a bad option as a leadoff hitter when he’s in the lineup.
* Catcher Pedro Severino batted .195/.283/.366 in September 2019 and .159/.232/.206 in September 2020.
The Orioles might want to audition a catching prospect in September 2021.
* I devoted a lot of space to Dilson Herrera during summer training camp.
The old baseball adage about not falling in love with spring training and September numbers should also include summer training camp.