Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 1/21/13
The number of people who believed in the overachieving 2012 Baltimore Orioles, even when they were locked in battle in the ALDS, could probably be counted on one hand.  Seeing how they'd been the unofficial doormat of the AL East for the previous fourteen seasons, it is no wonder that their unexpected success was received with such a critical eye.  Winning 93 games on just a plus-seven run differential will do that for you. Their playoff run might have won over some people, but still plenty remain skeptical that the O's didn't just get incredibly lucky.  Surely if they played the season over again, there is no way Baltimore would be that good, right?  Well, no need to speculate on that hypothetical because Baltimore management seems perfectly content to test that theory in reality in 2013. For whatever reason, GM Dan Duquette has chosen to take full advantage of his team's unlikely playoff run and first winning season since 1997 by doing... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  Well, maybe that is a slight overstatement. After all, they did re-sign Nate McLouth, claim Alexi Casilla and Danny Valencia off of waivers and trade reserve infielder Robert Andino for reserve outfielder Trayvon Robinson.  Toma(y)to, toma(h)to.  And don't forget that they also lost Mark Reynolds in free agency with Joe Saunders and Jim Thome, while currently un-signed, also unlikely to return.  In other words, let's hope manager Buck Showalter still has a few of those "nobody believes in us" speeches in his back pocket. That begs the question though of whether or not the Orioles actually believe in themselves.  Nobody expected the O's to contend last season or even come close to it.  They were supposed to still be rebuilding, but then they started winning and faced with the choice of riding the wave as far as it would take them or accelarating their plans. Duquette opted for the former, making two minor mid-season trades that cost very little, a strong indicator that even he wasn't a true believer.  This off-season, he did the same, choosing to stand pat rather than to use trades and free agency to bring in a star talent boost or even to just plug holes here and there. To be fair, we can't rule out that the Orioles roster has some sort of secret sauce that the rest of the baseball community just doesn't understand but Duquette feels like they can rely on to keep Baltimore competitive in the tough AL East.  They do still have Buck Showalter calling the shots from the bench and he was nothing short of a managerial magician last season.  They also return intact a lights out bullpen that helped them to their seemingly unsustainable record in one-run games.  Mix in some progression from young studs Manny Machado and Chris Tillman, and just maybe the Orioles are primed to once again shock the world.  Of course, having so recently shocked the world, they are going to have to figure out a way to repeat that feat without the element of surprise. You would think we'd have all learned our lesson about counting out the Orioles after what they did last season, but their winter of inactivity practically begs us to.  Maybe they can prove their doubters wrong once again, but maybe they just took the gift of a winning season they could build off of and flushed it down the toilet by not making any improvements whatsoever. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ukwuachu rape victim hires firm that prosecuted Winston

Leo Santa Cruz tops Abner Mares in slugfest

WATCH: Beckham makes great grab over Revis

SEC commissioner wrote classy note to injured Arkansas RB

John Daly taken to hospital after collapsing on course

Rex Ryan keeping Bills' starting quarterback a secret

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Braves fan dies after falling from upper deck

Randall Cobb suffers shoulder injury vs. Eagles

WATCH: John Harbaugh, Jay Gruden get into shouting match

WATCH: Brian Hartline drags toes on great TD catch

Julio Jones, Falcons agree on 5-year contract extension

WATCH: Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion blasts three homers, extends hit streak

WATCH: Ricardo Mayorga taunts Shane Mosley in ring, loses

Will Jimmer Fredette find success with Spurs?

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

American Pharoah upset at Travers Stakes

Steve Smith joins family in stands after getting ejected from game

WATCH: Cordarrelle Patterson rips off 107-yard return TD

Steve Sarkisian giving up most of USC's playcalling duties

Animal shelter cancels fundraiser at Heinz Field

Mets acquire RP Addison Reed from Diamondbacks

WATCH: James Rodriguez scores unreal goals

Vin Scully: I believe next year will be my last

Charles Barkley wants to blow his former agent’s brains out

The Texas Rangers are firing on all cylinders

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

Fantasy football round-by-round draft strategy

Ronda Rousey's Carl’s Jr. ad

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker