Man, that was a great game, huh? Remember? So damn fun. Plus it taught me my prime numbers (though to this day I'm not sure about 2). I once actually pissed myself midway through class because I didn't want to leave the computer lab during a particularly good run through the Factors level. I'd love to be able to tell you that was way back in third grade, but it was actually junior year of college. No, I'm just kidding. It was third grade. In my defense, I was really drunk.
But that's actually not the game to which this post refers.
Rather, this is where I take a look at the Orioles' team stats from last season, an analysis I should've by rights conducted before devising my scheme, and either (a) begin to get really, really freaked out about the Punishment Plan or (b) thank my lucky stars things fell so righteously into place.
So what do the numbers bear out? Using 2009 figures — and remember, most experts believe the club will be significantly improved this season — the Orioles averaged:
3.37 BB and 0.31 HBP
Total average of negative events per game = 15.013
Not too shabby, huh? Plus, you've got to figure the pitching — benefiting from the addition of vet Kevin Millwood and the experience young bucks like Brian Matusz accreted last year — will hold opponents to fewer doubles and home runs this year; that's where the Orioles were godawful last season.
Comparing the Birds to the Yankees, 2009's World Series winners and thus the gold standard for the league, and limiting the comparison to the above statistical categories, Baltimore actually fared as well or better in every measurement except team fielding and extra base hits.
Problem is, they were much worse in terms of giving up the gapper: An eye-popping 9.5 percent of plate appearances against Baltimore hurlers resulted in a double, triple or home run. That's 604 XBH against. The Yankees? Only 7.7 percent, or 481 XBH against. Yes, the new Yankee Stadium's a better park for pitchers, but that's still a massive disparity.
Point being, let's take a cue from the Yanks and really get behind each other out there: