The Baltimore Sorryles

The Orioles came into Monday night with a perfect 3-0 record.  But before their fans get too excited, they need to realize/remember two things:

1) Those three wins came at home, against the Twins.

2) Over the past decade, they’ve more often than not started out decently, then plummeted.  It is seemingly an annual migration of the Orioles to the bottom rungs of the American League East.

Since 2001, with the exception of the 2010 season (where they started 1-11 then 2-16, 7-21 and 15-41 then managed to *improve* to finish at 66-96), the O’s have played at least .450 ball for the first 47 games.  If you limit it to 2005-9 and 2011, they’ve played better than .450 ball for at least the first 74 games.

Then, at some point, be it in June, July or August . . . the bottom falls out, as seen here:

Before After
Year Collapse Date W L Pct. W L Pct.
2011 6/11/11 30 31 .492 39 62 .386
2009 6/28/09 34 40 .459 30 58 .341
2008 8/18/08 60 63 .488 7 30 .189
2007 7/28/07 49 54 .476 20 39 .339
2006 7/17/06 44 51 .463 26 41 .388
2005 6/22/05 42 28 .600 29 58 .333
2004 6/1/04 24 23 .511 54 61 .470
2003 6/2/03 28 27 .509 43 64 .402
2002 8/24/02 63 63 .500 4 32 .111
2001 5/28/01 24 24 .500 39 74 .345
TOTAL 398 404 .496 291 519 .359

(The 2002 season is not a misprint … the Orioles really did lose 32 of their last 36 games after going .500 for the first 126.)

The Orioles have had basically a decade-long run of .500 baseball for the first half of the season, and .360 baseball for the second half.  I suppose they would welcome the permanent introduction of a split-season divisional championship, like the one fashioned in the strike season of 1981.

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