October 4, 2012 9:01 PM Subscribe
posted by escabeche (87 comments total)
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Their last winning season came in 1997. Only one member of their Opening Day starting rotation remains, a 27-year-old from Taiwan who hadn't pitched in the majors before this year.
The others have been replaced by a Red Sox cast-off picked up from the Mexican League
, an ex-prospect with a career ERA of 5.5 in his first three years
, and the son of one of their former pitchers
, a throw-in in a 2009 trade with the Dodgers. They have only one regular hitting over .270, they're missing two-thirds of their Opening Day outfield, and their 20-year-old third baseman
started the year at AA. Nate Silver's PECOTA projection system reckoned they'd finish in last place, 24 games behind the Yankees
. And tomorrow night, the Baltimore Orioles will play their first postseason game in 15 years.
Only one current Oriole played in that game; and it was veteran Jim Thome, playing for the other team.
Longtime Birds fans remember the last time the Orioles contended deep into the season after years of futility
, and hope the story has a happier ending in 2012.
Tomorrow's opponent is the two-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers, who in 2007 delivered the Orioles the most brutal pasting in modern baseball history
. It's a battle between an overachieving and very lucky
underdog versus an ultratalented team that can't seem to get all the way to a title
. A team owned by a Democratic superPAC million-dollar donor
versus a team once partially owned by George W. Bush.
Baltimore at Texas, 8:30 EST start. This is wild card baseball! This is Orioles Magic