Reporting Mark Zinno
The Ravens have made the playoffs four years in a row. They have made two AFC Championship game appearances. They embody consistency and winning. The Orioles can’t spell playoffs and haven’t sniffed a winning season in over a decade. On the surface, it’s easy to see why those fans may have little in common. But in reality, the Orioles fans who are starting to approach panic mode, could learn from their NFL cross-town counterparts.
Whatever the Ravens expectations are, when the calendar turns to December the focus is on making the playoffs and seeding. Seeding is not as relevant in baseball as football because it’s not just one game. But for the Ravens if they are 8-5 with two games to play, all that really matters is what the Steelers and Bengals records are and if they can make the playoffs. So why aren’t Oriole fans looking at the AL East standings? Sure the Birds have lost 10 of 13 and aren’t playing like they did a month ago. But they sit one game out of first in the division and it’s June! Not many would have ever thought that. When the calendar turns over to July, as long as the Orioles are within a handful of game of first place, or dare I say it, even leading the division, the actual record is of little consequence to me. And it should be the same way.
All too often in baseball we have seen teams win 90 games and still miss the playoffs. And while a 90-win season would be fantastic, it doesn’t guarantee anything. The St. Louis Cardinals won 83 games in 2006 and won the World Series. They finished just a game and a half ahead of the Houston Astros who only won 82 games. But their division title put them in the playoffs and that was enough.
So Oriole fans can be concerned with poor play as of late, but with only one game separating the Birds from the top of the division, I am no where near a panic button.
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