I don’t pay much attention to baseball until the playoffs roll around. That’s when things get interesting.
Our O’s, one of the best if not the best hitting team in the 2013 baseball season, didn’t make the playoffs. The teams that did all had good pitching.
The two playing in this year’s World Series— the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals— might have the most outstanding pitching.
The quintessential baseball adage holds that good pitching will invariably beat good hitting, which might explain the absence of our O’s from this year’s playoffs.
Make no mistake about it: no baseball team could out hit the Orioles in 2013. “Dem O’s” whacked the ball out of the park more than any other major league baseball team.
If the Orioles had won more of the games in which the bullpen didn’t completely fail them, they’d have made the playoffs.
If their starting pitchers had turned in an even adequate performance in those games that the Orioles scored enough runs to win, they’d have won the American League Championship series.
And if their pitching was anywhere as good as their hitting, they’d have won the World Series already. By forfeit, the Cardinals wouldn’t even bother to show up.
If the Orioles keep their hitters and get some decent pitching in 2014, they’ll make a shambles of the American League.
How about them Ravens?
As of this writing their record is 3-4. The only reason they can’t lose on Sunday, October 27, is that they don’t play that day.
On Sunday, November 3, they play a pretty darned good Cleveland Browns team they barely beat in Baltimore in Cleveland. The next Sunday they play an excellent Cincinnati Bengals team that is 5-2 and look much better than the Ravens have looked in 2013.
Does anyone other than me think the Ravens are staring down the possibility of an 8-8, or even a 7-9, season?
I’m as devoted as the next Ravens fan, but I’m also a realist. There is no way the Ravens could have lost the talent they had on the 2012 season and still be as good as in 2013.
Middle linebacker Ray Lewis has retired; perennially excellent free safety Ed Reed is now a Houston Texan; wide receiver Anquan Bolden— the one player, more than any other, for the Ravens winning Super Bowl XLVII— now catches passes for the San Francisco 49ers, who are looking a darned sight better than the Ravens these days.
There are four American Football Conference teams that, at this point, are clearly superior to the Ravens: the Bengals, the Denver Broncos, the Kansas City Chiefs (undefeated this season, a clear sign that the Apocalypse is upon us) and the Indianapolis-born-in-Baltimore Colts.
The Ravens have already lost to the Buffalo Bills, at best a middling team, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are having a losing season.
The outlook for the 2013 Ravens season is starting to look bleaker and bleaker.
And finally, a word of advice to our local TV weather forecasters— please shut up! Or, at the very least, shut up about the topic of rain or the perceived lack of it.
Every year these people call down a monsoon on us that lasts anywhere from two days to a week. How do they do this? By constantly moaning, whining and kvetching about a “shortage of precipitation.”
Now most of us, being normal Baltimoreans, don’t fret about the “shortage of precipitation.” We know we don’t live in the Sahara Desert, and that eventually it is going to rain.
Not so with local TV weather forecasters who, like most of their co-workers, simply aren’t from around here. (Most flagrant example: one newscaster actually said that the intersection of Lafayette Avenue and Mount Street was in southwest Baltimore. MAJOR faux pas.)
Maybe if the TV weather forecasters would ratchet down their “shortage of precipitation” talk, we can avoid these annual multi-day monsoons.