Orioles: Inaction or Stability?
In listening to the various sports talk shows lately I’ve been struck by something that seems obvious but is kind of stunning in how different it is: the Orioles are entering the season without any major question marks. No giant holes in the lineup, no concerns about depth, no questions about whether or not there are enough viable candidates to field a rotation. For once, Spring Training doesn’t feel very dramatic.
Sure, there’s a concern about Brian Roberts. Flaherty and Casilla solve that. They’re not Roberts in his prime, but they’re fine if we need them.
Sure, the fifth starter role isn’t settled. The answer to that is the, oh, seven or so guys who could all win the job with a solid spring. Depth is good.
Beyond that, we have: one and maybe two solid players in left, a bona fide star in center, a very solid player in right, a young potential superstar at third, a very solid player at short, a star at catcher, a solid player at first, a deep bullpen coming off a great year, a solid group of starters (even if, granted, there’s no true ace), and a world-class manager.
And, like I said, no drama.
It is through this lens that we might cast a different light on the relatively quiet offseason. What if what some read as inaction or lack of improvement is, rather, simply stability?
I don’t think stability should be discounted as an ingredient for winning. Especially for a team like the Orioles, who for many years seemed to lack a core. It’s somewhat shocking to see them enter a season without a stack of what-ifs weighing down the nascent optimism.
None of which, admittedly, automatically translates into success. For once, though, I’m kind of relieved that things are quiet. It beats the alternative, at least until the games start counting.