After a fun first week of the season that included multiple laundry cart beer showers, the Orioles have run smack into the unpleasant reality of this season. There are many players on this team who are merely placeholders until someone better comes along in a trade or from the farm, and there are many players who aren’t good enough to be even a placeholder and will be shuffled off once Mike Elias has seen enough.
It all adds up to what we’ve seen through twelve games. The offense, except for strong early performances by Trey Mancini and Jonathan Villar, is not very good. The rotation is not good, and now Alex Cobb is injured again besides. The bullpen is really, really not good.
Part of being an Orioles fan right now is knowing that none of this matters for the future of the team. Elias said so in his own way through the offseason and spring training, never directly acknowledging that he didn’t care if the 2019 squad wins, but instead saying things like, “You have to look at the big picture.”
The Orioles do, indeed, need to look at the big picture, and under Elias they seem to be doing exactly that, which is good for the long run. It’s just that the small picture has a lot of bad baseball.
As you can see, things have slipped just a bit since the beginning of the season, with the confidence question now having 85% of fans answering yes.
Perhaps there are a few people out there in the voting pool who aren’t willing to see the big picture like Elias says. The team sitting with a 6.45 ERA, with a pitching staff that’s struck out the fewest batters and allowed the most runs and home runs of any American League team, is not the sort of thing that inspires confidence.
The dip in the overall confidence in the Orioles hasn’t touched manager Brandon Hyde’s approval rating. Fans in the survey remain happy with him, with Hyde sitting at 94% approval among our voters. Not bad at all.
This week, fans across all of the baseball sites were asked to weigh in about a topic of great import to today’s game of baseball: Bat flips.
In the world of SB Nation FanPulse voters, there are 70.3% who are fun-loving and correct, and 29.7% whose disapproval of the kind of pure joy (and sometimes spite) expressed in bat flips will shame their family names for generations.
Stay tuned for next week, and if you want your vote to count in the next survey, it’s not too late to sign up here.