A Winning Season
It has been 15 years, but the drought is mathematically over. The Baltimore Orioles will end this regular season with a winning record. The Orioles got their 82nd win on Sunday and look to continue to fight for the AL East division lead, but I wanted to focus on the winning season.
When this season started out, every expert analyst picked the Orioles to finish 4th or 5th in the AL East. The average projection had the Orioles winning anywhere from 55-75 wins, but none had the Orioles with a winning record, but you cannot really blame them.
The year was 1997, the last time the Orioles made the playoffs, and the last year they finished above .500. The following table shows the last 15 years records, and it does not look pretty.
Year Record %
2011 69-93 .426
2010 66-96 .407
2009 64-98 .395
2008 68-93 .422
2007 69-93 .426
2006 70-92 .432
2005 74-88 .457
2004 78-84 .481
2003 71-91 .438
2002 67-95 .414
2001 63-98 .391
2000 74-88 .457
1999 78-84 .481
1998 79-83 .488
1997 98-64 .543
Out of those 15 years, the Orioles finished 1st in 1997, 3rd in the division only once, 4th in the division 9 times and 5th in the AL east 4 times (the last four years). Since 1997, the O’s have gone through 9 different managers and none had the success as now current Nationals manager, Davey Johnson had, except for maybe current manager Buck Showalter. Buck has been able to do more with less, and has been able to win in what is arguably the toughest division in baseball this year, but by now if you are a patron to BlogSoHard you know all of our reasons as to why we believe Buck should be the AL Manager of the year.
Let’s take some time briefly to mention some of the accolades in sports and life in general while this drought has occurred. Keeping it in Baltimore, the Ravens started in 1996, and have had 9 above .500 seasons and one Super Bowl Championship in 2001. The Washington Redskins have only had 4 winning seasons and 2 playoff wins. My beloved Dallas Cowboys have not had as much success as the Ravens, having only 8 winning seasons and only one lone playoff win. Tiger Woods has won all of his 14 majors. Mike Tyson discovered his fond appetite for ear cartilage. We have had 3 different Presidents.
I wrapped up middle school, got my driver’s license, completed high school and went off to college and have been working for over 3 years, all while the Orioles have stayed under .500.
For some people, this is not a long time, but let me mention that even the Chicago Cubs (known for their World Series drought since 1908) have had 7 seasons above .500 since 1997. There is one team however, that can still hang their head down low, and that is the Pittsburgh Pirates. The last .500+ season for them was 1992, so Pittsburgh fans, I feel your pain.
Now I don’t want to throw the towel in on this season because we have a winning record, but whatever the outcome of this year, it has been a great season. We have outplayed everyone’s expectations (maybe except for Bucks) and have got the attention of ESPN and MLB.com.
With 18 games left in the season for the O’s, time will tell how the regular season will end, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated on how it all plays out.