First off, let me start by saying I respect and admire Billy Beane *ALOT*. For many years, I’ve cheered him on, admired his teams, their underdog nature, and hoped he’d win with one of those teams.
The key word here is underdog.
Well, after the flurry of deals he brilliantly made to go all in, his team isn’t an underdog anymore. Combine that with the national media’s obsession with him (They liked him a bit anyway, he was the cool outsider) has me kind of backing away a little.
Don’t get me wrong, I admire what he did. This is his chance, he’s going for it.
But his team is not an underdog anymore. Now his team is one of the three elite teams in the American League, along with Detroit and the Angels. So who does that leave to root for in the American League? Well turns your eyes east, and you’ll see that everyone’s favorite pick (Tampa Bay has fallen a bit and has just traded their ace. The other favorite, Boston, just sold everything and then some for next year. And the Yankees are having an off year. So who does that leave? Toronto, with an exciting offense and a questionable pitching staff, and Baltimore, the current division leader.
Compared to the other 3, Baltimore is not only an underdog, but a big one.
They have their stars, of course. The steady Adam Jones, the resurgent Nelson Cruz, the young phenom Nick Markakis. And the rotation, while lacking and big stars, is nice n steady, and has a young phenom is Kevin Gausman. The bullpen is also consistent, led by their current closer Zach Britton (Tommy Hunter started the season with the gig, but blew it.) and top setup man Darren O’Day.
But none of these guys have the Oomph that the big three have. Detroit’s aces, LAA’s hammers and resurgent bullpen, and the whole machine that is Oakland. Machado and Gausman may get there, but they’re not there yet, and Cruz’ year seems flukish.
That lack of Oomph is kind of why I like them. They’re quietly good. If they make the playoffs, everyone will pick them to lose in the divisional round (if they’re even predicted to make it that far) they’re a big underdog.
So let’s go Baltimore! Surprise the heck out of everybody, including Billy Beane!
Thanks for reading.