For the first time since the 2016 season, the Baltimore Orioles earned a ticket to the Major League playoffs, and as the numbers indicate, the road was not easy, but at the same time it became something impressive.
It all started seven years ago, when Baltimore reached the postseason as one of the wild cards in the American League, losing to the Toronto Blue Jays in the Wild Card Game. That, unbeknownst to them, was the last time the Orange would play in October for a long time.
For the 2017 campaign, the Orioles had a regular role in which they finished with a negative record of 80 wins and 82 losses, placed in third place in the East Division of the American League, 11 games behind the New York Yankees who advanced as a wild card.
It was in 2018 when Baltimore hit rock bottom, finishing the regular season in the basement of its division with a .290 winning percentage, the equivalent of 115 losses for only 47 wins.
START OF RECONSTRUCTION
Then the reconstruction began, which began with a series of radical changes within the organization, beginning with the hiring of Mike Elias as general manager and Brandon Hyde as the manager of the ninth.
They arrived not only with the objective of leading the Orioles to be a competitive club again, but also had the mission of replenishing their depleted farm system in the Minor Leagues.
Elias came from being the assistant general manager of the Houston Astros, so he brought Sig Mejdal and Eve Rosenbaum with him to join his team as his assistants.
FIRST SEASONS OF MIKE ELIAS AND BRANDON HYDE
Between the 2019 and 2021 campaigns, Baltimore continued to have some problems within Major League Baseball (MLB), recording a 131-253 mark in that period, but things began to change by 2022.
That year the team had its first winning season since 2016, finishing with a record of 83 games won and 79 games lost, remaining in the search for one of the American League wild cards until the last week of the regular season. A race in which they were three games away from their long-awaited playoff spot.
It was finally in the 2023 Season when the Orioles achieved their two great objectives, on the one hand qualifying for the postseason and on the other being recognized by MLB Pipeline as the number one farm system in the best baseball in the world.
“We set out to reboot the way we did things and we knew it could take a long time, because restructurings in baseball usually take a long time. Often, they are not successful and you have to start over,” team president and CEO John Angelos told MLB.com. “I’m very happy for Mike, Brandon, Sig and the whole team, the whole organization. The system they had, the philosophy paid off. And it paid off sooner than most people expected.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE ORIOLES?
According to Sportradar, a corporation that collects and analyzes sports data for sportsbooks, national and international sports federations and media companies, only two teams have improved their winning percentage by .300 or more in two seasons: Baltimore Orioles in 2023 and New York Giants at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Now, the Orioles will seek to finish capitalizing on their great comeback with a division title over the Tampa Bay Rays who are on their heels and, if possible, with the fourth championship in their history.
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