Just so you don’t let the undeniably disappointing end to the Orioles’ 2013 season color your view of the whole thing — and in case you find yourself in the position of defending the birds to outsiders — here are five reasons to be proud of the hometown team.:
+ We all know Chris “Crush” Davis led the major leagues in home runs with 53, a single-season total only 17 sluggers in baseball history have ever reached, but the Most Valuable Oriole also beat out Miguel Cabrera to lead the leagues in RBIs, with 138.
+ Third baseman Manny Machado led the American League in doubles (51), posted the third highest hit total in both leagues, and ended the season with the tenth highest WAR rating (a sabermetric uber-statistic that is too complicated for me to understand).
+ Closer Jim Johnson became the first AL pitcher to reach 50 saves in back-to-back seasons.
+ As a team, the Orioles’ .991 fielding percentage is the best in the major leagues, ever.
+ Oh, and remember Boston, the team with the best record in the AL? Well the O’s won 11 out of 19 against those guys in the season series, and we’re the only team in the division (sorry, Yankees) to do it.