Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opening Day Approaches

It is almost here. Finally.

The Orioles will open the season on the road in Tampa on Friday and I for one can not wait any longer. This is of course the time of year when we all start to lok ahead with stars in our eyes and hope in the cockles of our hearts. ESPN has weighed in and, as expected, has predicted the Orioles to be an also-ran once again. As usual the Yankees and Red Sox are picked to be the class of the division.

You really can't argue with them or be that. Until the Orioles play at a level that resembles "competitive" in some way they will be an afterthought. They will not open the season on ESPN unless they are playing sacrificial lamb to the Red Sox or Yankees. Young pitching prospects will be overlooked while the national media does backflips trying to convince itself that Sergio Mitre and Ivan Nova and a late signing of Kevin Millwood is enough to fill out a legitimate rotation. Until Nick Markakis gets his gold glove, Adam Jones hits that 20th homer and Matt Wieters starts hitting like one of the lesser apostles, as opposed to switch-hitting Jesus, we will be forgotten.

Deal with it Baltimore.

Maybe that is why Buck Showalter's comments last week made me so happy. At least someone in a leadership position on the team is talking the talk, as it were. At least we don't have to act like the forgotten cousin of the AL East even if it works out like that again.

But, could this be "the year"?

Perhaps, I hope so anyway, but I still have some concerns.

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