Matt Wieters is coming. The Orioles are finally doing the right thing for the fans and bringing Wieters up. He still has to work on his game behind the plate but he has nothing left to prove at AAA. He is starting to tear the cover off the ball and has learned while at Norfolk and will have Greg Zaun to help teach him the defensive side of the game.
The move will eventually cost the O’s more money. Wieters be a Super 2 (2 years & 128 days of service) arbitration eligible player. He will be eligible for arbitration sooner than if they held off until June. But it’s a move they had to make. Last night’s paid attendance was 10,130; the smallest crowd ever in the history of Camden Yards. It’s a move the Orioles had to make.
If Wieters stayed at Norfolk the fans were going to stay away even more. The Orioles were going to lose money at the gate if something didn’t change. Do you think holding his debut off until Friday gave the team enough time to have 50,000 Wieters’ jerseys made and delivered to the Yard for the weekend? How many tickets were sold for Friday’s game in the four hours after the announcement? I’m guessing several thousand!
The move makes sense from both a baseball and a business perspective. The fans were growing restless and finding other things to do with their disposable income. They had lost hope and were waiting for something to believe in. Andy McPhail gave them hope and the cornerstone of the future, Matt Wieters. If for no other reason, fans will come out to see Wieters’ development as a major leaguer. If the Orioles can catch lightning in a bottle with a few of the young pitchers, Camden Yards will be rocking!
Matt Wieters won’t be able to take us from worst to first this year. He will provide a glimpse of the future and give us hope we will be able to compete and eventually beat both the Red Sox and Yankees. To date, he is the largest piece of the puzzle to restoring the winning ways to a once proud franchise!