by Larry Hodges Alias LarryTT
10) Pitching, defense, three-run homers, and a Yankee disabled list payroll larger than the Orioles payroll.
9) The Orioles led the AL East in Spring Training in Runs (183, 5.2/game), Hits (325, 10.2/game), Home Runs (49, projects 248 in regular season), Ave (.289), SLG (.478), OBP (.350), OPS (.829). And they also hit one triple, dead last in the majors, with the next worst being 4 by Toronto. (The rest of the AL East hit 29 triples; the Angels hit 20. Triples are the Orioles Achilles heel. As we know, pitching, defense, and three-run triples are the key to winning.)
8) A Murderer's Row of Jones, Davis, Wieters, Reimold, Hardy. No wonder Rivera is retiring and so many Yankees are on the disabled list - they know how dangerous "Oriole dodgeball" can be.
7) Showalter has put Orioles Park on a giant turntable. When the Orioles are pitching, he'll position the stadium so that the Atlantic Ocean is behind the batter, with continental drift moving the batter relentlessly toward the pitcher at a rate of about one inch per year as the ball approaches, thereby increasing the relative speed of an average 90 mph pitch to a blazing 90.000000002 mph. Similarly, when the Orioles are batting, he'll position the stadium so that the Atlantic Ocean is in front of them, thereby decreasing the relative speed of those blazing 90 mph pitches down to an amateurish 89.999999998 mph.
6) Out of respect, even opposing players lower their hats when they see Showalter. After all, Showalter is just an anagram for "Lowers Hat." And it's while they are staring at Showalter and lowering their hats that Markakis will punch a single through the distracted infield to lead off.
5) Brian Roberts - He's Alive!!!
4) The O's 214 home runs last year are just coming down now. Most managers are just happy with home runs; Buck strategically timed them throughout last year so they will come down while the Orioles are batting this year, disrupting opposing defenses 214 times, or 1.32 times per game, always in key late-game situations.
3) Health is key to Oriole success. Leaving nothing to chance, Showalter plans to cryogenically freeze all players after each game, and thaw them out just before game time. Roberts and Reimold will be cryogenically frozen between at bats and fielding plays.
2) The Orioles will go 117-45 this year, breaking the all-time record for wins in a season of 116. In honor of this, the Romans began construction of the Pantheon in Rome in the year 117. As to the 45, there's a reason the Axis powers surrendered in '45.
1) Improved defense at first base. Some are worried about Chris Davis and his defense, but they are obviously wrong. If he plays the full season, Chris will get about 1400 putout chances at first base. Suppose he only makes 95% of those plays, or 1330 total. Now assume he wasn't at first base. Then 100% of those putout chances, all 1330 of them (about eight per game), would go sailing past first base because nobody's standing there. Let's all thank Buck that Chris will be there!
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