It’s just natural for people to do that, but I can tell you, there’s many examples where a team stays there long enough and they believe in themselves and believe in the pieces that they have.
When you execute and do the little things, you can compete in baseball a lot longer than most. And if you don’t, sometimes you hide mistakes by having incredibly powerful hitters or powerful pitchers. We hid a lot of mistakes as a pitching staff back in the day [in Atlanta], and the Yankees are hiding a lot of mistakes with the fact that they can hit it out of the ballpark.
But to answer your question fairly, if they keep executing the way they’ve executed to this point, there’s no reason that they can’t. There’s no reason.
A formula for success in baseball kind of goes like this: You need your great players to be great. You need your good players to have great years. And you need players who you didn’t expect to do anything to have good years.
You seem like you have a lot of fun when you’re broadcasting. Is this something that you thought about doing while you were playing, or did it just kind of come up when you were done?
It just kind of came up. The opportunity was there when I was hurt to do a spot start, if you will, in the playoffs. I kind of enjoyed it, and the opportunity presented itself for me to do it when I officially retired.
I just try to get my arms around everything, like I do in pitching, and try to learn as much as I can to be as good as I can be.
I know you had your No. 29 retired in Atlanta over the weekend. Can you describe what kind of a thrill that was?
It’s probably the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me at this point in my baseball career. When you think about a number being retired, I don’t know that anyone could ever dream that’s going to happen, so when it did I was thoroughly thrilled.
As exhausting as it was, it was phenomenal to go through a day like that where you’ll see your jersey up there forever.
The Orioles actually head to Atlanta this weekend. Could you give me a little breakdown on this year’s Braves team?
They’re a bit streaky. They’ve been streaky with their rotation. The bullpen’s still decent. It hasn’t been as great as it was last year, but the bullpen has one of the best lockdown 7-8-9 [inning] potentials in all of baseball.
Offensively, they’ve made a lot of improvements, but I don’t think it’s a team that’s going to wow you every day. I don’t think they’re going to be pouring out 6, 7 runs a day. … But if they’re healthy, I think they’ve got a chance to do what they did last year and have a chance to finish it off better than they did.
Baseball, again, is all about who’s doing what and when they’re doing it. Execution and timing of good hitting and pitching at the same time are what make teams win or lose.
I find it awfully interesting how baseball can be explained really easy, and then it can be very complicated.