I hate to write yet another argumentative post, because with the start of spring training and the hope I have for the O’s this year, I’m feeling pretty upbeat about baseball in general. But even despite the faith I have in the new and improved O’s and their Jedi Master Buck Showalter, there is one doubt, one nagging question that can erode any O’s fan’s optimism. That doubt is whether, even despite good scouting, player development and management, any AL East team without the financial resources of the Yankees or Red Sox can be competitive in the long term.
By and large, the Orioles haven’t been a very good organization in really any respect in recent memory. So clearly, they are no basis on which to evaluate the competitive balance of the division. But there is a team in this division that has consistently demonstrated their organizational competence and reaped the benefits, including division titles in ’08 and ’10 and an unsuccessful WS trip in that ’08 run. I am speaking of the Tampa Bay Rays.