It has been an interesting week listening to sports talk radio on 105.7 The Fan.
[Press play to listen or read the transcript below]
First there’s the chatter about the Orioles. I have viewed Buck Showalter’s boys as being very one-dimensional from jump street. They can’t run, they are weak at situational baseball and essentially they are built for the regular season. When the pitching gets more consistently dominant in the post season; when small ball is more meaningful; when runs are at a premium and perhaps MOST importantly, when the autumn air cools and baseballs don’t fly as far, the Orioles are at a disadvantage.
After all their best play is the 3-run homer and as of late the Birds are lucky to score 3 runs period!
There’s also been a lot of chatter about the other birds in town – the Ravens.
Fans are bellyaching about the Ravens winning ugly; about how they can’t run the ball; and about the inconsistencies of Joe Flacco.
Look, we all knew heading into the season that many questions surrounded the Ravens. Observers had more questions than the Ravens had answers. They are a work in progress and as they begin to gel, begin to address the unanswered questions, they will get better. The performance won’t be so unappealing to the naked eye.
But as the team begins to shape, isn’t it a positive that they can win when they aren’t playing their best; that they are learning how to win close games – games that they would have lost in 2015?
When the Orioles play, don’t we give credit to Chris Tillman for getting a win without his best stuff? Don’t we call him gritty when he does and label him a gamer?
Let’s see the young talent develop. Let’s see Joe Flacco get through what amounts to HIS preseason. Let’s see how Kenneth Dixon might impact the rushing game. Let’s see how Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil do with a great push up the middle and young legs to give them a blow off the edge.
The game plan heading into the season was to start fast, particularly when considering the daunting task of New England, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh on the road in December. The last time I checked, you can’t start any faster than 3-0 after three games.
Do you want the Ravens to begin playing their best football in October or December?
Rhetorical question for sure.
Now if those other Birds could play better in October…