Baltimore Orioles: Beating last year’s win total matters
As I mentioned at the tail end of my game recap yesterday, the Baltimore Orioles have now won 43 games. Four more wins and they’ll have equaled last season’s win total. Five more and they’ll have bettered it.
Again, my vision for a “successful season” at the beginning was to beat the 2018 Orioles. Many folks are of the view point that it’s a weak goal, as stated. In essence, that making that the goal is admitting defeat before you even begin.
I don’t look at it that way. The Orioles were up front about what this season was going to be before the season even started. Therefore everyone should have known that it would be a difficult season, barring a miracle. And it has been. But garnering more wins than last year does show an improvement. It may only be a slight improvement (depending on the margin of improvement), but it shows an improvement.
And we know that the organization as a whole is in a much better position than it was at this time last season. As I’ve written, Baseball America ranked the Orioles’ farm system in the 20’s at the beginning of last year (out of a total of 30 teams). After the Orioles’ draft in June they ranked them as having the 8th best farm system in baseball.
Now there are some crass individuals who say that doesn’t help the 2019 Orioles in the here and now. And that’s very true. However it does show the fruits of labor in terms of re-tooling the organization. Baseball is in essence like a reverse funnel in the sense of it’s minor league systems. Quality players funnel upwards to the big leagues. So with the Birds’ farm system taking that big a leap in one year, the future does in fact look bright.
However if the O’s can also manage to win more games than they did last year, there would also be a legitimate argument that they took a step forward in the majors as well. We still don’t know if that goal will be realized – but with four games separating them from that goal, it appears to be a drop in the bucket.