Baltimore Orioles Looking To Prove Point As Familiar Underdogs On Opening Day

By Thom Tsang
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Look, the Baltimore Orioles know what most of us are thinking.

It’s okay, you can go ahead and say it. Really, they won’t mind — not when the team is looking forward to proving the baseball world wrong again in 2013.

The term ‘one-hit wonder’ is usually used with a great deal of derision, but for the Orioles, it might as well be a motivational motto that can be used to fuel the clubhouse all season long. After all, this was the same team that went through 2012 as the underdogs of the AL East, going all the way from the basement to the playoffs in a remarkable runs.

If it worked out then, why change anything?

Baltimore cast their success under the light of being the team that nobody believed in, and as luck would have it, they’re in the exact same position to do it again on Opening Day on Tuesday afternoon. The main difference? They’ve now had the experience of succeeding in spite of that otherwise dubious tag.

It’s one that the Orioles believe in, though, and you only need to look at their lineup as proof. Yes, the Baltimore Orioles are bucking the MLB trend and going with what is mostly a same-look lineup when they go into the season … but one that got them near the top of the division in 2012.

To lead this group of underdogs, the team will call on Jason Hammel, who himself might be the most unexpected ‘ace’ in the bigs today after posting a career-best 3.43/1.24 ERA WHIP split in 2012. He too, is looking to prove that 2012 wasn’t a fluke.

Some might say that it’s an indictment of the team’s deficiencies that they have a pitcher with a career 4.78 ERA starting on Opening Day, but for the Orioles, it’s a message that they’re sending.

This group has heard it before; the same group shrugged it off on the way to the playoffs then, and they’ll happily to it again in 2012 — what better way would there be to do that than to take down the reigning AL Cy Young winner, David Price?

That’s easier said than done, of course. But if they manage to pull it off against the Tampa Bay Rays ace, you know, the O’s might just end up ruining this whole ‘one-year wonder’ thing for themselves  in a hurry.

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