Pitchers and catchers show up to Sarasota in a little more than two weeks, and it goes without saying, most fans are happy and ready for baseball at this time of year. Hope does really spring eternal, but as it is right now, the Orioles will more than likely finish up in the second division or close to .500.
Forget about contending this year or maybe in 2012; however, if the Orioles do show signs of improvement this season, then maybe they could finally spend the dollars and get a free agent or two.
Right now, the problem is that the Red Sox and the Yankees have finances and the wherewithal to seemingly do as they please. Then again, both teams — especially the Red Sox — are vey well run, so let’s hope Andy MacPhail and the scouting can keep up with both of those organizations.
The Orioles have to keep piling up the prospects, finding young arms and players they can have under their control for many, many years. Defeating the Beats of the East won’t be easy, but the organization does seem to be trending in the right direction.
Looking back though, although the Red Sox and Yankees have done exceedingly well with the wealth, talent and personnel they’ve acquired, much of the Orioles problems the have faced in the past decade have been their own doing.
Bad free agent signings, horrible drafts, trades, production of talent from the minors to an extent has led the organization to stand where they are today. In addition, once you add the deteroriation of a fan base over some time and attendance falling to less than two million last season, baseball seemed to be dying a slow death in Baltimore.
However, you cannot say within the past few seasons that the Orioles have improved leaps and bounds within their minor league system.
The organization has the tools, like youngsters Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold, and mainstays such as Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts; therefore, can the next step be taken towards respectability? They have the core, but can they stay consistent and keep up with the rest of the AL, especially the East.
Yes, a lot has to go right, but the Orioles seem to have a plan in place and young players to hopefully acheive their goals with. I don’t see contention in ’10, but they should not come close to losing 100 games again — I hope.