As a life long Baltimore Orioles fan, the 2012 season can only be described as magical. The O’s took a talented young team without many marquee “stars”, and pieced together a competitive squad that went on a run and eventually snuck into the playoffs after defeating the Rangers in the wild card game. They eventually lost to the Yankees in the first round, but the tone of this new Orioles team was set. Buck Showalter did an outstanding job running this team last season, now the only question is will that success run over into the 2013 season?
The O’s didn’t make too much noise in free agency, opting instead to stick with their roster. Essentially they can look at Manny Machado as their “free agent” as he is set to start at third and should immediately make an impact. Personally, I am happy with the fact that general manager Dan Duquette and Buck didn’t make many free agent signings. People forget just how many adjustments Baltimore made last year (178 callups/calldowns) and never used the same starting lineup more than 10 times.
This team had the best record in baseball to finish the season last year, going 20-11 to finish the regular season after the calendar flipped to September. Why mess with that? Is it crazy to believe that rather than go out and sign a big named free agent, that we could be building a big star in Baltimore? Our pitching staff is young and talented, and [extreme bias] is being lead by one of the top catchers in the game, Matt Wieters. He’s a proven leader and a great defensive catcher. He also does a great job with pitch selection and game managing, along with Buck. Adam Jones will continue to lead this team after signing a six year extension last season.
I believe the AL East is tough, but beatable. Boston still has question marks. Are the Rays going to come back strong? The Yankeees are banged up to start, but will always be at the top with that lineup. The Blue Jays are a big question mark. Personally, I’m hoping for the 2012 Miami Marlins…. a team that stacked up and flopped.
Only time will tell. Expectations are high for this season, and the hope is that the success from 2012 rolls over into this new season. Hopefully the Orioles Magic continues in 2013.
*Feel free to give us your thoughts and expectations in the comments section below*