The Orioles are shaping up well as the season creeps closer. With one month until spring training, baseball season is dawning back on. With the 2023 season ramping up and the off-season moves, it’s time to look at the O’s possibilities. Looking at how the Orioles ended the 2022 season and the prospects that were grabbed during the off-season, we can look at how the birds are shaping up.
In 2022 the O’s really started heating up. After an average start that in recent years has become expected from the Orioles, the team really started to hit their stride. This run would begin in May as they would push a record well over .500 and continue this hot streak for months in the highly competitive AL East. This run would bring excitement to Camden Yards as week after week, the Birds would make win after win. This spike in productivity would lead them to finish the season with a record of 83-79. Although they would not make the postseason, the Orioles only missed the Wild Card by 3 games. This shows great promise for the upcoming 2023 season as the Birds seemed to have broken the long streak of disappointing yearly seasons that were sadly commonplace in Baltimore.
The Orioles aren’t just relying on the high they finished last season on either, as they have made multiple moves during the offseason. They continue to strengthen as they acquired starting pitcher Kyle Gibson and a prominent bullpen arm in Michael Gibbons. Although a bit older, Gibson is a solid pitcher who can offer great depth to the starting rotation. Gibbons is a reasonably young arm that could be seen for some late relief this season. The Orioles also picked up veteran catcher James McCann who can bring a solid bat to the Orioles lineup. He shows a good stick in the lineup with a career batting average of .243 and an on-base percentage of .296. The most exciting pickup for the O’s is acquiring second baseman Adam Frazier from the Seattle Mariners. This addition to the Orioles’ infield can be great for the upcoming 2023 season. Frazier also brings a pretty good bat to the Orioles that could set up some good game moves.
Not only have the Orioles made some notable off-season moves, but the real excitement is also in the young players coming up from the farm system. Returning stars Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson show immediate promise. After their entrance mid-way through last season was a sight to see. The young talent broke out in stride and immediately impacted the team as a whole. Seeing an entire season with these young superstars in no doubt a daily starting position shows an excellent sign for the Orioles coming season. O’s fans also hope to see more young talent rise through the minors and come to the show. Hopefully, the good farm system of the Baltimore Orioles can help them hit stride mid-way through the season, just as Rutschman and Henderson did last season.
Overall the 2023 Orioles are looking promising as we move closer to spring training. There is no doubt in any baseball fan’s mind that the Orioles can go far this season. Finishing only 3 games back last year from the Wild Card while playing in one of the toughest divisions is sure to be taken to a new level in 2023. We only have a short wait to see what the Orioles can accomplish. There are sure to not disappoint.
Braylon Sims is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.
Is it worth it? This is a question on the mind of all PlayStation console users as Sony announces the release of the Dual Sense Edge. The Edge is the concept for a PlayStation 5 controller to compete with the Xbox Elite controller. The Edge was announced mid-October this year and is slated for release on January 26th, 2023. Even though this is something that PlayStation fans have been waiting for since the release of the Xbox Elite controller in 2015, it doesn’t look like the controller will meet fans’ expectations.
The Dual Sense Edge is Sony’s attempt at matching the superiority of the Xbox Elite controller. To reach the excellence of the Xbox Elite with features such as customizable back button controls, different pressure configurations for the triggers, and accessories that come with the controller. Although these features sound great on paper, in practice, the controller looks clunky and looks years behind the continuously evolving Elite that has shown impressive growth. Then you factor in the fact that the Edge is set at a retail price of $200, which is almost half the console’s price, and you wonder what Sony is thinking.
For years fans of Xbox consoles were blessed with the superior Xbox Elite controller that allowed players to customize their own settings and set the controller in a way that fits their style of play. Although the price is steep at $150 for the controller, its capabilities make the price worth it. In addition to the customization, the controller is made of metal, making it more durable and lasting longer overall. These qualities make the Elite one of the top controllers on the market for consumers.
This brings into question how will Sony compete in the controller world? Even though we are months out from the January 26 global release date, I still question how this endeavor will turn out. Will the controls be functional? What will the customization be for the controller itself? Will it be worth the steep price tag? Will it stand up to heavy play and rigorous use? I, and many other PlayStation fans, hope for the best but expect disappointment.
Braylon Sims is a Senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.
Can the Baltimore Orioles pull off one of the greatest team turnarounds in Major League Baseball? After a poor start, as usually expected by the franchise in past years, a smooth winning streak hit the Birds pushing them to a possible Wild Card spot. Before the midway point of May, the Orioles were up to another season of what has been seen as normal for the club in recent years. The Orioles started their season with losing streaks and dropped multi-game series throughout the first month of the season. Baltimore fans expected another losing season for the Birds. Now the O’s are climbing their way up amongst the challenging American League East.
The AL East is often seen as one of the toughest divisions in Major League Baseball as it holds powerhouse clubs such as the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays. Within this division, the Orioles have been seen as lower caliber. In the previous years games against the Yankees and Red Sox were almost a definite loss, but in the 2022 season, the birds have turned it around. Since May 18, the Orioles have been on a tear with a record over .500. Every game has been a sight to see as the Birds fight their way to the top of the division. Many wonder how this incredible streak started for the Orioles that turned a team that was out of contention into a possible Wild Card.
This shift can primarily be credited to the payoff of a very long rebuild by the Orioles since the times of the previous manager Buck Showalter. One of these great payoffs being the extremely talented prospect Adley Rutschman that burst onto the scene in the early parts of the season and quickly became the best catcher in baseball. On May 21, 2022, Adley was called up to the Major Leagues to be the O’s starting catcher. The switch-hitting bat and gifted defensive presence created a young powerhouse in Adley. The Orioles also remade their bullpen, shifting right-handed pitcher Felix Bautista into the closer spot. Bautista has been lights out for the Birds and is seen as one of the best in the league. Finally, the Orioles called up their top infield prospect Gunnar Henderson in August. Henderson started his big league career off strong showing that he’s a stud amongst the top in baseball. His glovework and bat are big pieces of the O’s lineup that are leading them to more and more success.
The talent showcased by the Orioles is unprecedented. This puts the O’s in great contention for a Wild Card spot and possibly an October appearance after many years of missing the playoff. This could bring the big stage to Baltimore and many more cheers to Camden Yards. These are the hopes of any fan of the O’s! All we can ask now is, will the Orioles pull off this comeback? They have it all in front of them; now they just have to execute.
Braylon Sims is a Senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.
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