Saturday, February 19, 2011

You can never hold back Spring

I'm back. If you noticed I was gone. Life got in the way.

My family experienced a rather stressful, harrowing and very scary medical emergency over the last month. My time has been devoted to that. My mind has been on things other than baseball. Things finally seem to be looking better and the lives of the people I love look to be getting back to something resembling normal so I return to the Post with this modest missive.

You can never hold back Spring. You simply can't.

Right now the Orioles are in their gorgeous new Spring Training facility in Sarasota. The weather is warm and the Orioles are waiting for the final three players to report for their pre-season workouts. Right now it is sunny and 70 degrees on the Gulf Coast of Florida and another day of workouts is beginning. Bringing with it the unbridled optimism of Spring.Yes I said optimism; and yes I said unbridled.

In an age of advanced metrics and a decade of losing we have all become very jaded. In the cold bleakness of Winter divorced from the sun, warmth and baseball it is easy to lean only on the cold realities of stats and probability to pile on the long wayward Orioles.

But you can never hold back Spring.

Early reports of Mark Reynolds launching balls into the low ionosphere; Justin Duchscherer loving life and healthy; Adam Jones and his always joyful twitter feed; Luke Scott and his crazy lumberjack beard; Matt Wieters looking leaner and stronger. All of the sudden, as out of nowhere as yesterday's 74 degree day here in Charm City, a new wave of optimism is rolling in. Vladimir Guerrero was officially announced yesterday and the team seems very excited by this move even if some of the of the blogger community are not.

I have never really weighed in much on the Vlad signing, so here we go. On the face of it, I like it. I hated the idea of Vlad when the theory first circulated through the internet, but then I did some research and some searching and I came around to the deal. Basically it came down to the fact that Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie did nothing last year to guarantee spots on this team. Felix most likely would have ended up at best a platoon option in LF and Nolan basically needs to prove to the Orioles that he deserves to be on the major league roster. Now I like both of these players and I think Reimold could have a Jason Werth-type late-blooming career but the 2011 season is important.

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