While it may feel correct to scream this, fans who feel inclined to compare the O’s to the Yanks like you’re looking at dust mites on an Adonis might want to reconsider.
In many ways, the Orioles — a team 30 games under .500 — have outperformed the Yankees all season long at key positions. Their very best are better than some of our biggest names. Many of the Yanks’ most-defended players pale in comparison to a few of their O’s counterparts.
In essence, it’s … not good.
Heading into Tuesday night’s game — which was, ahem, supposed to feature Gerrit Cole — the vastly inferior Orioles didn’t just outrank the Yankees in a few respects.
They outranked the Yankees in a few areas that were supposed strengths.
Sure, the O’s pitching staff is lacking, but they outscore the freaking Bronx Bombers significantly. Oh, and Cedric Mullins has lapped Giancarlo Stanton while John Means has exceeded Cole’s production. Nothing to see here.
The Yankees and Orioles are not so different after all.
Mullins has been a wonderful breakout story but it would, uh, be nice if he didn’t out-OPS the entire Yankees roster. Entering 2021, he was a speedy pest capable of slashing doubles and turning them into occasional triples. He should not have higher power marks than Aaron Judge, who hasn’t homered in several weeks and has only cracked three more dingers than Baltimore’s center fielder.
The Means stat isn’t quite as galling; after all, Means is good! Very good. But it’s no fun to be the literal New York Yankees, look at the Orioles on the other side of the diamond, and know their ace has performed better this season, their best player laps your stars, and their offense is producing more than what was supposed to be the league’s most complete unit.
Is this reductive? Of course. Yes. This is not cogent analysis. The Yankees’ roster, top-to-bottom, outflanks the Orioles’ squad. But it’s no fun to see this crystallized so clearly and realize that anyone on earth would rather have a supposed singles hitter who posted a 96 OPS+ last year and a negative eight OPS+ in a 2019 cameo than Giancarlo Stanton.
You’d also take him over DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez … well, everyone but Judge, really! For now and for the foreseeable future. This is why fans are furious.