This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress
Interesting matchup between two non-contending AL East teams in 1985. The Detroit Tigers finished in third place, but fifteen games out of first. And the Orioles finished fourth sixteen games out of first. But the AL East was deep in 1985, with four teams, the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Tigers and Orioles all having winning seasons. And the Boston Red Sox were a 500 club that year. So it wasn’t like the Tigers and Orioles had bad years in 85, it was just that the Blue Jays and Yankees were both very good. And had their been a wildcard back then, both the Jays and Yanks would’ve made the AL Playoffs.
The Orioles were in transition in 85 especially as it relates to their pitching with Jim Palmer retiring after the 84 season. They were still good enough to be a winning team, but no longer a serious contender for the AL East. Their pitching wasn’t nearly as good as it was in the early 1980s and 1970s. And became a power hitting team that needed big offensive games to win. The Tigers won the MLB World Series in 1984 and were still good enough to contend in 85. But they slipped back as the Blue Jays and Yankees finished first and second.