There clearly hasn’t been much changed in transitioning from 2012 to 2013 for the Baltimore Orioles. They were expected to be relevant again, but the naysayers were also loud and proud. Orioles’ doubters called Baltimore a fluke because of just how many one run games that they won last season, however the success just continues to come for this AL East club.
A good mix of young talent and established professionals has the Orioles at 21-14 and atop their division once again. Considering this MLB franchise has not won the AL East since 1997, the feeling in Baltimore is that this team could have a historic impact. To make matters worse, the Orioles have only won the division twice in the last 30 years, making what Buck Showalter has done while managing this club even more spectacular.
Showalter was given a contract extension this past winter that will keep him in charge of the O’s until 2018 and given his track record — this is a perfect move. Prior to the 2013 season, Showalter was magnificent with a winning record of 196-185 with Baltimore — heading into the last year of his deal, something had to be done to keep the 54-year-old in town. It has been a rag tag assortment for Baltimore, yet guys like Chris Davis are getting hits when they matter, as this crew continues to win close games.
Matt Wieters was my preseason pick for the AL MVP this year and although we are not even a fourth of the way through the year, it looks like a stretch considering the catcher has only four home runs and is batting at a mediocre .243. Either way, the Orioles can enjoy their perch atop their division, as the AL East is sure to heat up in the coming weeks.