As we are only mere days from pitchers and catcher showing up for Spring Training, it does not need to be repeated that the Baltimore Orioles have a lot of holes to fill.
Despite the good job done by Andy MacPhail at the moment in securing young talent and taking the steps to replenish the minor leagues, as well at the major league level; alas, the fact of the matter is how bad will the Orioles possibly be?
Will we be relegated to fourth place again, or will Tampa Bay will pass us? Furthermore, will Baltimore lose 100, 110, or battle the New York Mets for the worst record of all time?
Talking with a few of my fellow season ticket holder last year and amongst many others, we all knew change was coming. We knew it would be rapid and somehow shocking, but now that the season is upon us, it's now come to reality that starting over will be a long road.
Needless to say, the local and national media pretty much with the Orioles are telling things as they really stand.
If you get a chance, take a look at the Washington Post and their write for the Orioles heading into Spring Training. It's not very positive, and states the obvious -- the Orioles will go through a lot of growing pains, bloated veteran contracts, guys who are on the decline and hurting the club, the bullpen is in need of help, and what is to come of Brian Roberts?
Can Nick Markakis keep up his progress, and will young Adam Jones be part of a tandem that will rock the Yard in years to come?
Well, here's what Tim Brown says on the squad as it stands in his AL East review on Yahoo! Sports:
"After a decade of being pleased that the baseball gods sent them the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, keeping them out of a nice string of last-place finishes, the Orioles appear committed to shaking the Etch-A-Sketch. There's still the Peter Angelos factor to consider. The man's pushing 80, and who starts over at 80? But, seeing as his Orioles probably aren't in a position to make up 27 games on the Red Sox, and Andy MacPhail has a reasonable – if overdue (not his fault) – long-term course in mind, maybe it's time for Angelos to lift his feet and let his baseball people carry him along. Already, MacPhail has unloaded Miguel Tejada and, as of this writing, set in motion deals for left-handed ace Erik Bedard (Seattle) and All-Star second baseman Brian Roberts (Chicago Cubs). Those three trades could bring as many as 13 or 14 new faces, pitchers with upside and position players with hunger. There was a time when the Orioles were building toward 2009, and now they're waiting for contracts to expire – those of Melvin Mora, Jay Gibbons and Ramon Hernandez – so they can get on with the rejuvenation. Ultimately, Bedard, because he doesn't also carry a $140-million price tag, will bring more than Johan Santana did to the Minnesota Twins. Like the Tejada deal before it, and the Roberts deal that could follow, it's a start."Tim, you're preaching to the choir.
Who knows; however, I'm curious to see of what comes of the Baltimore Orioles. It should be fun, interesting, sometimes painful and heart-wrenching to see.
Well, the good news is that the organization under the watchful eye of Andy MacPhail is starting to finally move forward.
That's music to the ears of many fans; albeit, there's still a lot of work to do.
Peter Schmuck also has a piece on the team as he compares the 1988 squad versus the 2008 edition. However, he feels despite the woeful predictions that many have for the team, the team is good hands with Andy MacPhail and he's making moves similar to what team did 20 years ago ushering in the famous 1989, "Why Not" season.
Nice to see some positivity.