Tap-In Question: Which team has a brighter immediate future, O's or Ravens? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In Question: Which team has a brighter immediate future, O’s or Ravens?

I don’t want a civil war in here. I don’t mean to split the bar in half, with purple over here and orange over there. But this question was eating at me last night. And I’m curious. So, humor me. We won’t hold this against you next September.

I want to know which Baltimore professional sports franchise – the Orioles or the Ravens – has the brighter immediate future. Say, over the next three or four years.

It’s a fascinating question to me. When the Ravens first started here they were an extension of the bumbling Cleveland Browns while the Orioles, a star-studded group, made the playoffs in 1996 and went wire-to-wire to win the American League East in 1997.

Then it all fell apart for the Orioles, and the new kids on the block quickly began making Baltimore a football town again.

Before my first season covering the Orioles – in the 2000-01 offseason — I was asked to temporarily follow the Ravens during their first playoff run in December 2000. I happily accepted the assignment, and tagged along for the ride as the Ravens won their first Super Bowl that January.

I then switched over to the Orioles’ beat, and began covering a club that wouldn’t make the playoffs for 11 seasons, finally gaining a postseason berth in 2012. Meanwhile, the Ravens won their second Super Bowl in 2013, a few months after the Orioles’ brief playoff run ended.

At that point, there was no question that the Ravens were viewed as the better-run organization after five straight playoff appearances and two titles in 12 years. The Orioles, in contrast, haven’t won it all since 1983.

But since that 2012-13 sports year, the Ravens have made the playoffs only once – winning one game and losing one game in January 2015. Whereas the Orioles made the playoffs in 2014 (losing in the ALCS) and this past season, in which they lost in the AL Wild Card game in Toronto.

Both franchises have coaching stability: Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has been with the franchise since 2008 and Buck Showalter has managed the Orioles since 2010.


The Orioles probably have a better core of players, led by 24-year-old third baseman Manny Machado, closer Zach Britton, first baseman Chris Davis and center fielder Adam Jones (pictured above at Camden Yards with Ravens safety Lardarius Webb).

The Ravens have, among others, quarterback Joe Flacco, kicker Justin Tucker, veteran defensive standout Terrell Suggs and those ever-important title rings.

It appears that the Ravens will have some tough decisions to make this offseason; the Orioles’ winter of discontent likely will come in 2018, if not sooner.

With free agency, it’s tough to know what these teams will look like in a few years. But I want your best guess. Several years ago, this question would have been easy to answer. And we likely would have been wrong.

So, what about now? Which team will have more success in the next few seasons, the Orioles or Ravens? And what makes you think that?

Tap-In Question: Which team – O’s or Ravens – will be more successful in the near future?



  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    January 5, 2017 at 8:31 am

    This coming year, I’d say the Orioles are in better shape, however the financial structures of MLB vs. the NFL (specifically shared TV Money and a hard salary cap) make me believe the Ravens have an inherent advantage on a year to year basis. Small market baseball franchises are hamstrung in trying to maintain the talent they have. Football teams, regardless of market size, play on an even field.

    Another large factor favoring the football team, is its’ ability to rebuild through the draft process almost overnight. While a large majority of drafted baseball players never get a whiff of the show, it’s more common than not, that a football team adds 3 to 6 players every year, some of which make a significant contribution from the word go. In baseball, even those players that do manage to make it, more often than not, take years to contribute.

    So, long answer short, next year I’d give the nod to the O’s, however after that, my money is on the Ravens.

    As an aside, after reading back what I just wrote, I’m seriously considering to changing my site-name to “Captain Obvious”.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 5, 2017 at 10:07 am

      I understand your thoughts and I agree it’s easier for an NFL team to rebuild to an extent. I guess I was looking more at which team, based on current personnel AND ability to add properly, would be considered the leader right now for the next few years.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        January 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm

        What the heck to I know anyway. I’m a Cowboys fan. And before the screaming begins, I’m also a native Texan.

  2. Bancells Moustache

    January 5, 2017 at 9:58 am

    The Ravens. While the Purple and Black faithful have been braying on talk radio and social media as if the Blackbirds just went 0-16, the fact is they were an outstretched arm from winning their division. While they do have warts, they have the most critical and thus, hardest, pieces to build already in place. Solid up front on both sides of the ball and a franchise QB. A few moves, a good draft and install an offensive system that works and they are back in the
    playoffs for 2-3 seasons. Plus, winning a division with Cincinnati and Cleveland, two franchises that historically can’t get out of their own way, is a far cry from navigating the most difficult division in professional sports, the AL East.

    The Orioles are at a disadvantage for the reasons that Boog said, as well as a few others. While I’m probably more optimistic than most about this year, there are far too many questions that need to be answered for me to say the 3-4 year outlook is sunny. Looking at the O’s forecast is like those maddeningly inconsistent charts tracking storms in the Carribbean, as we all wait to see what will happen with the mammoth category 5 system called Hurricane Manny. Both my model and the European model have it making landfall in New York, so the boys in the Warehouse better get some milk and bread soon before the shelves are empty.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 5, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Stache: Classic post. Two drink chips. Not much else to say about this one.

    • Steve Cockey

      January 5, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      We may need to recruit Tom Tasselmyer as a guest contributor ;).

  3. 5brooks5

    January 5, 2017 at 10:33 am

    The Ravens! Mainly because I have very little confidence that the Oriole’s have the management necessary to put together a complete organization.It is much more difficult in baseball, in my opinion, as detailed in the above posts and that just adds to the problem. DD has done an ok job at the major league level and that has helped make the last few years enjoyable.However, I don’t believe that the system is in place to build the total organization to a point where the team can sustain that success. I hope I am wrong, but the next two years are critical and Buck is the only one I really trust to make this work and I get the feeling that He and DD aren’t on the same page. As I’ve said before, the fish stinks from the head down!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 5, 2017 at 11:52 am

      I think the farm system is the primary reason the Orioles aren’t the easy answer right now. Because 2018 is looming.

  4. OsFanStuckInNY

    January 5, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Now that the O’s have signed Zach Stewart from the KBO, the secret plan is coming into focus: jumping the organization to the Korean League. So…the O’s outlook is brighter!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 5, 2017 at 11:10 pm

      We officially have a bright-sider in here. 🙂

  5. Amazing

    January 5, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    it looks like they’re having a competition to see who can have the most mediocre offseason

    • Dan Connolly

      January 5, 2017 at 11:10 pm

      To be fair, the Ravens just started. And the Orioles sorta did too.

  6. bigdaddydk

    January 5, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    I have to agree with Boog on this one. While in the immediate sense the O’s look decent and have as good a core as anyone, the longer term outlook is not so great. They don’t have prospects to trade for MLB talent to fill holes, they have their core heading toward FA in the next couple of years, and there is no spending parity that the salary cap gives teams in the NFL. Plus, I don’t necessarily have a lot of faith in the ability of the organization to select and develop talent at a sufficient rate to be year-in, year-out competitors for the division. They’re in win-now mode, and they’re really not sufficiently loaded to win now as a legit WS contender, considering what’s in Boston, Chicago (north side), Houston, LA, SF, etc. So, in the immediate sense, I think the prospects for a solid season is more with the O’s, but in the longer term I see the Ravens as a more sound organization with some key pieces in place that aren’t going anywhere because of the allure of the big bucks.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 5, 2017 at 11:11 pm

      Solid analysis, Big Daddy. Drink chip.

  7. weams

    January 6, 2017 at 6:38 am

    This is Baltimore BASEBALL. Until the Orioles have another losing season, I think the answer is obvious.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      January 6, 2017 at 6:53 am

      Yeah! What he said!!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 6, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Fair point Weams.

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