Sorry for my absence from the blog. I’ve been on work and travel for most of the month, plus, I’ve been having work done on my residence. I’ve had little time to write about things; however, I’m back.
That being said, the season for the Orioles opens up on April 1st and I’m more excited than ever to see what happens over the course of 162 games.
It’s weird not to see the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox tabbed as favorites to win the American League East this year, and it’s refreshing to perhaps now see some parity in the division.
It looks like the Toronto Blue Jays are the sexy pick to take the division; however, it’s unknown how their new collection of players will mesh together. A lot of the players that they acquired in the off-season came from the Miami Marlins, and you know how their 2012 season turned out. As it is right now, the Jays do have the strongest team on paper in the division.
The Tampa Bay Rays are still very strong, in my opinion, with their young pitching and Joe Maddon as their manager; meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox seem to be in the midst of retooling their organization.
As for the New York Yankees, good lord.
I know they are trying to get under the luxury tax threshold, and that in turn limited their options on the free agent. Well, I still expected them to have a strong roster despite the age of many of their players; however, the injury bug has very much hurt their roster. Derek Jeter has a cranky ankle, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson are on the shelf, and the Yankees are turning to the Travis Hafners and Brennan Boesch’s of the world.
So where does the leave the Baltimore Orioles?
Although they seemed to do little in the offseason aside from re-signing Nate McLouth, the Orioles didn’t do much on the market. Even though, I was not happy with the lack of activity on the part of the front office, you have to give credit to Dan Duquette to showing some restraint and making a move for the sake of making a move.
I’m really not sure where the Orioles will finish at all. The days of losing may be over, but right now, it’s hard to tell where they will finish at the end of 2013. The organization has a lot of depth in their system now and that may be a key to surviving the long season. They did a tremendous job mitigating injuries, filling in spots when players faltered, and using the talent in the various levels of system when needed.
The American League East is now full of parity it may be wide open for anyone. I don’t know if the Orioles are primed for another playoff runs, as some experts believe they can pull it off again; meanwhile, others think that they will not repeat what they did in 2012 and will finish in last place.
There’s one thing we as fans learned last year – sometimes, you can’t predict baseball.
The games begin to count in a little more than a week, and I’m excited for Opening Day.