Summer Sale! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Orioles Insider
Sports Orioles Orioles Insider

John Smoltz talks about the Orioles and their 'it' factor

Former Cy Young Award winner John Smoltz, now a baseball analyst for TBS, had a chance to broadcast the Orioles-Yankees game Sunday.

He spoke to me late last week about the Orioles and their surprising season. Here are some of his thoughts.

On the team: "It is a remarkable story and a remarkable turnaround for the Baltimore Orioles to be in this position."

On closer Jim Johnson: "I am a big fan of his. I think when you can dominate to contact with that power sinker, I mean this guy just gets outs. The other (top closers) strikeout two or three guys in an inning and that's ridiculous. But both (styles) are effective and both important to their teams."

On whether the Orioles are the real deal: "Absolutely. I think one area that people keep overlooking is their starting pitching. Their starting pitching is not as dominant because it's had so many moving pieces."

On the Orioles' "it" factor: "I just think the components of this team has "it." It's hard to describe "it." But "it" goes a long way when you believe in that combination that has led you to victory. You don't have to have so much intimidation throughout your team to have "it." And I think Buck Showalter has done an incredible job giving them that "it" factor."

On Buck Showalter as American League Manager of the Year: "Right now, there are so many great manager of the year candidates that is so difficult to predict, especially how it will finish. But [Showalter] is my pick right now."

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Orioles in April

    Orioles in April

    Browse pictures of Orioles baseball games in April 2015.

  • Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards

    Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards

    Look through photos from Orioles Opening Day festivities at Camden Yards on April 10. The Orioles will face the Toronto Blue Jays in their 62nd home opener in Baltimore. 

  • Orioles player salaries for 2015

    Orioles player salaries for 2015

    With the 2015 baseball season just underway, USA Today has released its annual comprehensive list of player salaries. The publication gathers the data from "documents obtained from the MLB Players Association, club officials and filed with Major League Baseball's central office. Deferred payments...

  • All-Time Greatest Orioles

    All-Time Greatest Orioles

    In the six decades since they returned to the American League, 982 players have suited up for the Orioles. Who are the all-time best? Here are The Baltimore Sun's picks — six men at each position, except outfield and starting pitcher (nine apiece). We ranked the top six managers, too, from 1954...

  • Orioles Season Preview 2015

    Orioles Season Preview 2015

  • Orioles Insider

    Orioles Insider