Cartoon bird

The smiling cartoon bird has been watching over the Orioles since spring training. Does he have reason to look so confident? (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun / March 2, 2012)

The Orioles break out the cartoon bird logo, and all of a sudden they're unbeatable.

Coincidence?

Well, yeah, almost certainly so.

But it's hard to deny there are some good vibes reverberating through the city right now.

Camden Yards has a new rooftop bar in center field, that adorable grinning bird is everywhere you look, and the team actually appears competitive.

Think back to 1997, when the Denver Broncos changed their logo and uniforms. The next thing you knew, John Elway was windmilling into the end zone in the first of two Super Bowl victories.

No, the emblem on the front of the cap isn't going to get the Orioles playing deep into October. But when you look closely at that bird, it seems like he knows something we don't. He’s confident and snarky, and he has a certain gusto that the boring, flightless, ornithologically correct bird lacked.

Today’s advanced baseball metrics can measure anything, like WAR, which calculates the wins above a replacement that each player generates. What about wins above replacement logo? Is our feathery friend at least worth one or two more happy trips to Pickles this summer?

As Kevin Cowherd points out, the Minnesota Twins lineup that visited this weekend wasn't exactly stocked with Harmon Killebrews – or even Kent Hrbeks, for that matter.  Plus, they say momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher, and the Orioles’ next starting pitcher had a 10.69 ERA last season.  

So we’ll have to wait and see if the bird is still smirking after the Yankees leave town on Wednesday.

I say he will. (And, you know, considering he’s only a logo, I think the odds are in my favor.)