Where we boil all the weeks baseball chats down to their Oriole essence...
(For the first time in the history of this semi-regular feature, the Baltimore Orioles are seemingly the talk of the baseball world and there is so much here after Tuesday's chats for a post. I'll post part two from this week on Saturday...)
Dan Szymborski, Fangraphs.com
12:05 Comment From Joel
How excited were you last night (if you watched the O's game), when you saw Dylan Bundy jog out to the mound? Any impressions?
12:05 Dan Szymborski:
Unfortunately I wasn't. Because I had run upstairs to get a bite to eat because I hadn't had any lunch and I was hungry. I got back in time to see the last pitch in Valencia. I'm going to look back at the game this afternoon. That's why awesome starting prospects need to have announced debuts.
12:15 Comment From Os Fan
I Steve Johnson.
12:15 Dan Szymborski:
I Dan Szymborski.
12:34 Comment From JT
How should the Orioles handle their postseason rotation? Do you think a Rockies-esque paired pitching system would suit them best?
12:34 Dan Szymborski:
I dont' think you want to go with anything too crazy at this point - dangerous time to start experimenting. The WC game is, however, the focal point of the offseason that all planning should go through - it's the only game in advance that you know for a fact will risk your elimination.
12:37 Comment From The Oriole Bird
I'm going to the doubleheader today. Think I'll see Bundy pitch?
12:37 Dan Szymborski:
Hope so! Good luck!
12:47 Comment From Os Fan
Dangit, that was a "less than three" heart there. What gives cover it live?
12:47 Dan Szymborski: Ah, so you're not Steve Johnson? Definitely gotta dig that ultra-slow loopy curve that he has.
12:49 Comment From STiVo
Estimate the likelihood of the following happening today: The Orioles sweep today's doubleheader against the Jays, and the Yankees lose to the Twins. If this occurs, the O's will be 0.5 games ahead of the Yankees.
12:50 Dan Szymborski:
let's say 36% for winning both and Yankees 35% lose to Twins. That's what, 12%?
12:54 Comment From Darn Zimbowski
Dan Duquette's #1 priority this offseason...?
12:54 Dan Szymborski:
1:04 Comment From Penguinis
Last week, Dave Cameron said Mark Reynolds is "awful" at first base, while a general consensus of Oriole fans, broadcasters, and Buck Showalter seem to think he's playing gold glove caliber defense. What do you think? And if he's actually any good, why does UZR hate him?
1:04 Dan Szymborski: I don't think he's quite that awful. I don't think he's all that good. After watching Reynolds at third, he's going to inevitably look good. Like how after you watch a rerun of Suddenly Susan, Two and a Half Men doesn't seem so bad.
Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com
Ryan (State College)
Whats the most fascinating storyline left with so few games to play?
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Ryan, For me, it's the Orioles and A's both making spirited runs at the wild card spots. But you can also look at the fallout that will ensue if the Tigers and Angels fail to make the playoffs. I'm a Little Engine that Could type of guy, so I like the underdog storylines.
Harrison (New York)
Who are your AL and NL managers of the year? (I've got Buck Showalter(AL) and Don Mattingly(NL))
Jerry Crasnick (1:08 PM)
Harrison, I'll go with Showalter in the American League. As for the National League, I think the first place managers -- Johnson, Baker and Bochy -- will all get some support. You can make a strong case for Dusty Baker given how his team played in Votto's absence, and the way he didn't let his contract status become a distraction.
Nick (College Park)
Jerry, given that they don't have an ace, I wouldn't make the O's a favorite vs. anyone in the WC, but in a full series, I think they've got a fighting shot. They've got a good record agains everyone but Texas, I think. I think we've also reached the point in the season where almost nothing they do will surprise me. What say you?
Jerry Crasnick (1:39 PM)
Nick, I spent two months writing off the Orioles, then I just threw up my hands and decided they're for real. There are some things in baseball that can't be fully explained by the numbers, and that team's success is one of them.
So would you give Jim Johnson/O's bullpen the O's MVP? or Showalter? or Adam Jones?
Jerry Crasnick (1:44 PM)
Jay, That's a really apple and orange-y comparison. I would probably go with Adam Jones because he does so many things day-in and day-out for that club. He has really matured into a leader and a guy who's accountable every game. Throw in the power and the defense in center, and he's an incredibly valuable piece for that club. I think he helped keep them together when Markakis went down with what could have been a crushing injury.
Jason (St Louis)
The Orioles may be for real as you say but they don't have the look of a team built to make a run in the playoffs, if you want my unsolicited honest opinion. They've got to lose an extra innings game one of these day at a minimum.
Jerry Crasnick (1:46 PM)
Jason, I hear you. The rotation looks iffy for October and you have to wonder when the strain of pitching all those one-run and extra-inning games will catch up to that bullpen -- a la the Braves of 2011. But I'm past the point of saying that team"can't" do anything.
Bill Parker, Baseball Prospectus
What do you think of the 2012 Orioles?
I'm in favor. Look, I know they probably aren't a great team, etc. In my mind, though, there's a difference between wanting a setup that makes it more likely that the best teams come out on top (which is kind of what my last answer was about) and actually wanting the best teams to always come out on top. If we've got a good, competitive system, and you're a mediocre team that somehow beats that system over a full 162-game schedule, good for you! I'd love to see an Orioles-Nats World Series, both because I spent a few years down there and it'd make me happy, and because I think it makes for the best story.
Looking at the remaining schedule for Wild Card contenders and Division leaders, who do you see making playoffs when all the dust has cleared?
I think the Yankees win the AL East, because they get to play the Twins now. I think the White Sox win the Central by default, because nobody wants it at all, and obviously the Rangers win the West. I don't see a compelling reason to go against the current WC leaders, Baltimore and Oakland. In the NL, with the Brewers getting creamed as I type, it's all but set in stone: Washington, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Atlanta and St. Louis.
Orioles-Nats would be great for baseball. As a lifelong O's fan- back to the days of Brooks Robinson, this season has been a very pleasnat surprise. And how about the Nats- no more "first in war, first in peace and last in the American League". Gonzalez just struck out 200. Walter Johnson was the Washington player to do that!
Not a question, so I don't have an answer, I just love the excitement.
Jeff Sullivan, FanGraphs.com
12:07 Comment From Kyle
Where's the love for the O's Steve Johnson? Guy is so good.
12:08 Jeff Sullivan:
The Orioles overall make so little reasonable sense that it's hard to focus on any one individual player of theirs. Sure, we could focus on Steve Johnson for a little bit, but then it's like, shouldn't we just be talking about the Orioles? What on earth is going on with the Orioles?
12:16 Comment From The Oriole Bird
Over the next three seasons, how many times do you expect Adam Jones to post more than 4.5 WAR?
12:17 Jeff Sullivan:
I'll say one time? And another time where he's very close. And one time where he's more like 2-3, due to either underperformance or injury
David Schoenfield, ESPN.com
Hey David, with 8 Games left for the Orioles, 1 1/2 games back in the East and 1 1/2 games up on the A's (3 1/2 on Angels), where do you see Baltimore's season going from this point?? And if they make the playoffs, how far do you see them going?
David Schoenfield (2:07 PM)
I think the Yankees win the East and the O's take the first wild card. The lack of an "ace" would seem to hurt them in the wild-card game, but of course Showalter would have a very quick hook. But I don't see them beating the Rangers in the Division Series. Nothing they do would surprise me though. An O's-Nats Beltway Series would be pretty fun.