I don’t believe in any flukes in sports. Joe Flacco didn’t make the postseason five straight times because he continued to get lucky. He was a Super Bowl caliber quarterback who has now had more success at his age in the postseason than Peyton Manning and finally earned the ring to prove it.
The same is true for the Baltimore Orioles. They didn’t make the playoffs in 2012, bump out the Texas Rangers and take the Yankees to five games in the ALDS because they got lucky in a few one run games. They were a quality offensive team with an amazing bullpen that happened to be led by one of the best managers in baseball.
Now that pitchers and catchers have reported to Sarasota and it appears the O’s offseason is essentially over, the media has begun giving their take on Dan Duquette’s quiet approach this offseason.
Of course, there are folks locally who think that the Orioles dropped the ball this winter and expected them to make a big splash in free agency to prove to their fans that they were for real. Guys like Grantland’s Jonah Keri agree with those local pundits.
Then there’s Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com who penned an entire column on why Duquette’s offseason makes sense for the Orioles.
Some players were unrealistic for them. With others, they ultimately decided they didn’t want to give up the draft choice attached.
Duquette is salesman now, not thought to be his specialty (but he is getting better at it). He will point out the Orioles return a fine young nucleus. He’ll mention how the team that finished the season was much better than the one that started it.
Duquette and Showalter teamed up to bring in cost-effective defensive specialists Alexi Casilla, Travis Ishikawa and Chris Dickerson. In Boston, Duquette brought in Manny Ramirez and Pedro Martinez. Here, he does what he can.
I didn’t expect the O’s to sign Zack Greinke or Josh Hamilton and don’t t think they need either to compete. I’m fine with the way the Orioles conduct business and would rather them keep their talent — which they’ve proven to do — than overspend on guys in an inflated market.
You can criticize the Orioles if they let Matt Wieters walk when he hits free agency in 2016. Until then, they’re a playoff team looking to get back with an improved, healthy roster.