Hey, the Baltimore Orioles Are Tied for First Place!

Baltimore Orioles
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Okay, baseball is back and there is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm in the air. If you’re an optimist, every team, especially your team, is tied for first place. Am I right? Hey, the Orioles are tied for first place!

If you’re a Baltimore Orioles fan, traditionally you’ve either got to be an optimist or start rooting for another team. But Orioles fans are more than optimists. They believe. Okay, for the past couple of decades they’ve been teased into believing, but you’ll never convince a loyal Orioles fan that there’s not a chance. A chance at making the playoffs, a chance at winning the American League. Hell, just a chance at beating the New York Yankees more times than not.

Here’s one of the main reasons Orioles fans are a bunch of diehards. Over the past 20 years (including the 2000 season), the Orioles have had just four seasons with a winning percentage over .500. For most of that stretch, it was easier to watch a video on hip replacement, than the Orioles trying to finish a game.

So, why do the fans keep coming back? Could very well be a great tradition. Fans remember and appreciate that between 1966 and 1983 the Orioles made six World Series appearances, winning three of them, and since the Franchise moved to Baltimore in 1954 the team has an overall winning percentage above five hundred.

The Tease

So, all the excitement could be because of the great tradition, but there may be something else at play here. Let’s call it ‘the tease’. Since 2000, in April, the Baltimore Orioles have had a winning percentage within two games of .500 or better, 15 times. In fact, their winning percentage in April over the last twenty years has been almost exactly .500, and that includes the dismal starts in 2018 and 2019. Unfortunately, the Orioles’ winning percentage at the end of the season over those years was just .445. The decrease in winning percentage was not a sudden drop-off either, but instead a gradual decline. Over the last twenty years, the Orioles’ average winning percentage dropped to .458 at the All-Star break then was .433 after the break. To put it bluntly, the Orioles don’t tend to finish well.

So, the tease, a good start to most seasons, has kept the Orioles fans watching their team with hope. They watch on TV and they come to the stadium in droves, except in the last two seasons. They are still among the most loyal devotees in Major League Baseball. This, despite the fact that, in the end, over the last two decades, the Orioles have only had four winning seasons.

So, over the past twenty years, the Orioles have started strong but ended like a NASCAR driver who ran out of gas with a few laps to go. However, Orioles fans might be intrigued by their chances in this abbreviated season.

Can the Orioles stay among the leaders a little longer than usual?

This season the Orioles’ roster is the third-youngest roster in the Majors. These youngsters don’t necessarily know Baltimore’s tradition of late-season losses. Maybe, just maybe, they can stay among the leaders a little longer than usual and wind up competing in the postseason. Hey, the Orioles are tied for first place! Let’s go O’s!

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