Dan Duquette is no stranger to statistical concepts in baseball. He hired an eager researcher named Ari Kaplan to build advanced scouting software and run analytics for him back in the early ’90s, when Duquette was just starting his first general manager's job with the Expos. When he jumped to the Red Sox in 1994, he hired Mike Gimbel, a sabermetrician-by-hobby who'd offered him advice from afar while Duquette was still in Montreal. Years before the publication of Moneyball, Duquette was exploring every avenue to gain an analytical edge over the competition.
So when you remind him that the Orioles won 93 games and crashed the playoffs last year largely thanks to a historic and impossible-to-sustain 29-9 record in one-run games, he gets the question that's coming next. Duquette understands the concept of regression to the mean. He knows that on paper, the Orioles, more than any other team in baseball, are ripe for a crash back to earth in 2013. He just doesn't think that's going to happen.