Friday, July 2, 2010
What you see above is the first (FIRST!!1) comment on my Fangraphs Q & A session with the esteemed Carson Cistulli1. While I certainly don't believe I whine about being a Blue Jays fan, "Kyle" brings up an interesting point: how much worse off are the O's than the Jays?
On the surface, one would say "a lot." The Orioles are abjectly awful and have been for years. But consider the criteria we use for success, consider the complaints generally lobbied against the Jays. No playoffs since 1993? The Orioles made the playoffs in both 1996 & 1997, the latter club winning 98 games. Sure, they haven't won even 80 games since then, but if your thought process is Playoffs or Bust; what's the difference?
The Rogers Dome is a sterile, unlovable concrete toilet bowl. Camden Yards is the blueprint and standard measuring stick for all retro themed baseball-specific playgrounds. Who's ahead here?
The Jays got 12 glorious years of Roy Halladay greatness, the Orioles had 300-odd seasons of demigod Cal Ripken anointing the sores on Dukie's feet. The RSN and Yankees take over both buildings so that's a wash.
The Orioles spend money on free agents (with generally hilarious results), if you listen to Jays Talk callers the Jays haven't done that since Jack Morris. The Jays win scads of "meaningless" games but that certainly doesn't sate the "meaningful baseball" hordes.
So what's the difference? Would you rather be the excellent also-ran or consistently pitiful doormat? Is there a difference? Are the Jays really no better than the Pirates or Nationals because the results, ultimately, are the same?
1 - Please read this. It is no small amount of mind-blowing to see my name on Fangraphs in any capacity. Incalculable thanks to Carson Cistulli for including me.