Monday, October 1, 2007

And so it ends... 69-93. For the tenth straight season the Orioles lost more than they won. For the ninth time in the last decade, the club finished in fourth place in the five team AL East. And for the third straight season the team lost more games than they had won the previous season.

The Orioles had a total payroll of $93.554M according to USA Today, good for tenth highest in the majors. Only four of the top ten teams in total payroll went to the playoffs, but aside from the Orioles and the White Sox (72-90), every one of them finished with more wins than losses. Indeed, a payroll of nearly four times that of divisional rival Tampa Bay scored the Orioles a mere three additional wins.

The birds finished tenth in the AL in runs scored with 756 while finishing 9th in OPS+ at 97. The pitching staff and defense did little better, finishing 13th in ERA (5.19) as well as runs allowed (868). The Orioles scored fewer runs and gave up fewer runs, but that was mostly the effects of scoring going down across the league. While Baltimore's OPS+ stayed the same as in 2006, the team's ERA+ managed to drop from 86 to an even more terrible 84.

While there were bright spots, 2007 was just another year that saw Baltimore sink further and further into baseball irrelevance. The new Man in Charge, Andy MacPhail, does seem to realize that changes - real, sweeping changes - need to me made for this ballclub to become competitive once again. He insists that he hasn't finalized a plan for this offseason, so we'll check back once the moves start being made to see what MacPhail is going to do for the club.

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