Happy Friday, everybody. We still suck at baseball.
It’s only a 25% chance that we’ll lose that many games, but that’s still one in every four scenarios. It’s not too encouraging. On the flip side, the Orioles only have to win more than sixty-three games to overcome that fate, and they did pull that off last season. The article where this percentage came from is speculation based on numbers, and it’s actually a really great read. It makes an interesting point – can a team even afford to rebuild completely in this day and age, or should they try doing so whilst remaining a competitive force? For the Orioles, mired in the AL East, any form of rebuilding requires the team to…well, not be competitive. They don’t have the money the other clubs do (especially the Big Three, the Sox, Yankees and Rays) and they don’t have a very expansive fanbase. (We’re loyal, but there aren’t too many of us.)
How are the Orioles supposed to find success if they don’t have the resources the Big Three have? It’s definitely going to take a lot more than just pure GM genius. Duquette’s good, definitely. He’s doing the best he can with the scant resources we have. The problem is that even if Duquette’s playing it smart, the team will probably still suck for some time. Fans don’t like that. Fans always want the quick fix, the immediate solution. As we get more and more used to immediacy in this highly technological world, we assume that everything should come right away. We’ve forgotten how to wait.
Here’s a really nerdy way to look at this. Remember the ending of Return of the Jedi, when Luke redeems Vader and Lando and Wedge blow up the second Death Star? The original trilogy ends there, with the death of the Emperor. However, all that really does, when you think about it, is create a power vacuum for the Empire. There’s millions of Imperials out there who could step into the Emperor’s place. People realized this and the Star Wars Expanded Universe was born, with authors filling in the gaps left by the movies. It takes a long time for the New Republic to truly establish itself. It doesn’t happen when they defeat Emperor Palpatine. There’s a lot of books explaining the post-Endor universe.
Let’s say Dan Duquette is Mon Mothma and his troops have just blown up the second Death Star, with many Bothan scouts dying to get him this information so he could do so. He now has to work to permanently establish the Orioles as if they are the New Republic. This is a much more difficult task than it sounds. Duquette has to court the fans, the citizens of the New Republic, and convince them to work with him and support him as he rebuilds the Orioles into a consistent winner. Establishing a team, just like establishing a new government, takes time, and the fans need to accept that.
Welcome to the Baltimore Orioles Expanded Universe, folks. There’s plenty of stories here, so you won’t be in need of entertainment. All you need to do is stay loyal and stay patient. Good things will come to pass.