Will the game remember Zach Britton for the 47 saves in 47 chances, the 0.54 ERA in 67 innings over 69 games, or his exclusion from the top three vote-getters for the American League Cy Young Award and the immediate — maybe long-term — shift in relief pitching philosophy that was the defining storyline of the playoffs after Showalter didn't use him?
The "Moneyball" Oakland Athletics found their advantage by valuing on-base percentage. The Tampa Bay Rays sought a two-percent edge over opponents, and the Pittsburgh Pirates burst to relevancy via aggressive defensive shifting. While many other clubs are only making their final preparations for spring training, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette is one swoop away from making the February free-agent coup his team's signature advantage.
There are important moves to be made and the lingering uncertainty of the Chris Davis situation seems — to a certain extent — to be holding the Orioles hostage as baseball front offices prepare to reopen after the holidays. No one in a position of authority is going to come right out and say that, of course. Dan Duquette said Saturday that the club is "maintaining a dialogue with the free agents we are interested in."
When the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays begin a three-game series Tuesday at Camden Yards, the two most effective relievers in the American League will be in uniform. It's fair to speculate that without Orioles closer Jim Johnson and Rays closer Fernando Rodney, their teams probably wouldn't be in playoff contention.
The Orioles are just one game out of first place in the AL East, and they'll be rooting for the Rays to beat the Yankees tonight to give them a change to have a share of first place for the first time since June 7.
If there's anything fans will remember about the eighth inning of Tuesday night's All-Star Game in Kansas City, it'll probably be seeing flamethrowers Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman light up the radar gun one after the other for the National League.
The Orioles' presence at a workout by Yoenis Cespedes showcases their expanded international efforts. Four Orioles representatives, including manager Buck Showalter and new executive director of international recruiting Fred Ferreira, will watch the 26-year-old Cuban outfielder work out Saturday.