Baltimore Orioles: Experience winning the day in the post season
The Baltimore Orioles might not be in the post season, but there are still some very compelling storylines. Look no further than Cleveland, where the Tribe has an opportunity to sweep New York tomorrow at Yankee Stadium. Cleveland of course hasn’t won the World Series since 1948, making them an attractive team for which to root.
One motif we’ve seen in the first slew of games in the playoffs has been that experience rules the day – for the most part. The one exception is Boston being on the verge of elimination at the hands of Houston. That Boston team has playoff experience; and they’re having their lunch handed to them thus far.
New York may be a great team, but they’re up against a Cleveland team that has playoff experience at the highest level. Cleveland of course went to the World Series last year, narrowly losing to Chicago in game seven. Looking at the National League, that experience also did Chicago well last night as they beat Washington 3-0, and Los Angeles bested a pesky Arizona team.
Some might look at that Chicago and Washington series as a draw in a sense. In fact, some would argue that the core group of players in DC might have more experience in the post season than does Chicago. However you can’t discount the fact that Chicago played in an won the World Series last year.
There are people who tell me that I put too much emphasis on experience. Anyone can win a baseball game, right? Yes, that’s very true. But just as the regular season differs from spring training, the bright lights of the post season is vastly different than the regular season. So that’s why when you get to this level you can’t discount that angle.
When you look at a team like Arizona, the atmosphere they saw at Dodger Stadium last night was probably unlike anything some of those players had ever experienced. To draw a comparison, if you bring a field goal kicker in the NFL in to try a 55-yard field goal to win the game, that’s a tough spot. If it’s preseason, there’s probably very little pressure. But if it’s a regular season or playoff game, is that same 55-yard kick just as easy? Probably not.
So who are most fans watching and wanting to win? There’s the Washington Nationals for the local angle, of course with former Oriole Matt Wieters. While he opted to leave Baltimore, I suspect that Wieters is a guy most O’s fans would like to see succeed. Speaking for myself, the Tribe is such a compelling story in terms of the amount of suffering that fan base has done since they last won a title. I’m also keeping my eye on Dodger Blue. One way of the other, the games thus far have been great!