Something new and ridiculous seems to have happened every day with the Orioles for the duration of spring training. From the Yovani Gallardo physical to the whole Dexter Fowler contract to the Hyun Soo Kim saga, it's all been weird.
It's not good to be weird if you're a sports team. Or at least, not this kind of weird, the kind of thing that seems to be somehow contained in the organizational DNA. It's not fun to be a fan of a weird team, either, because you have to endure the usual suspects in the media dive-bombing the team with their payload the way seagulls will get you at the beach.
Fair or not, it makes things seem like the O's have no idea what the heck they are doing - and, with three days to go until the start of a new baseball season, that's a worrisome idea to have about one's favorite baseball team.
So maybe it's not something that will actually matter. Maybe something even crazier will happen and the O's will come out of the gate winning eight out of ten while hitting like twenty dongs. Then we'll all be feeling good again.
Maybe you're not worried about that stuff at all. I am the noted pessimist, after all. None of that stuff will matter if they start to play well.
I leave the answer to the question in your hands:
How many games will the Orioles win this year?
Consider any factor that you deem to be appropriate. The poll is below this post. Are you of the belief that the starting rotation will sink the team? Do you think that they will hit so many home runs that it won't matter? Will this year be better than last year, or worse?
At least one media member has predicted that Manny Machado will be the American League MVP this year. Even knowing how good Manny can be, this sounds like a ridiculous statement, because it's hard to imagine Manny being better than Mike Trout this year. Then again, Trout has been the best player in the AL for four years running and the writers have not recognized that caliber of performance in three of those years, so who knows.
If Manny turns in an MVP-type season, that'll be one point in the O's favor. Maybe Chris Davis will hit 40+ home runs, and the likes of Pedro Alvarez and Mark Trumbo will hit a bunch of home runs, and maybe J.J. Hardy will be healed and at least mediocre rather than horrible at the plate.
On the other hand, it could be a total disaster. Mike Wright is in the starting rotation, for crying out loud. His destiny may be to be the next Tommy Hunter. Kevin Gausman was originally supposed to be back April 10, and now it's set for April 19. What if that drags out even farther? Then Tyler Wilson or Vance Worley's in the rotation, and the other guys - Gallardo, Chris Tillman, Ubaldo Jimenez - might not be very good either.
It could all fall down somewhere in the middle - not unlike last season. The O's actually scored more runs last year than they did in their division-winning 2014 season. But it didn't matter because the starting rotation was so bad. That's how it could go again this year - score many runs, give up many runs.
What do you think will be the key factors of the season? Where do you think they will end up when all is said and done?