THE WIETERS WAIT IS FINALLY OVER

May 26, 2009 |

 It was an innocent buzz eminating from my cellphone.  I heard it and knew it was an incoming text.  Who could it be and what could the text be about?  The message was from WNST and it was a text that Orioles fans have been waiting two years for – Matt Wieters has been called up from the minors.  The Orioles have finally decided to bring up the greatest prospect this organization has had since Cal Ripken.

Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.  Wieters will be in uniform Friday night against Detroit and Orioles fans could not be happier.  I don’t want to go overboard on this kid, he’s a baseball player, not a deity, but the electricity circulating around his arrival is something O’s fans haven’t felt in years.  At least not since Glen Gulliver made his debut.  Kidding, of course, but kudos to those of you who remember G.G. 

The number one prospect in all of baseball.  The can’t miss kid.  The switch hitting catching phenom is finally here.  It was like when you’re a little kid waiting for Christmas, and then suddenly, it’s here.  Dear baseball gods, please don’t let this Christmas gift turn out to be a fruitcake!

The call-up of Wieters means so much for this franchise and he is such a key component to the rebuilding plan.  All of a sudden, the Orioles are on the map.  Not only nationally, but locally as well.  At the top levels, baseball people are talking about this kid and his upcoming debut.  All the networks will cover it:  ESPN, MLB Network, Fox Sports, The Food Network, (I understand he makes a mean peach cobbler.)  Can you tell I am just a bit giddy?  Wieters immediately steps into the role of “face of the franchise”.  With all due respect to Markakis, Roberts and Jones, Wieters is a switch-hitting catcher who has the tools to dominate a game not only at the plate, but behind it.  You can probably count on your hand how many impact catchers there are in baseball.  Now Baltimore has one to call their very own.  Locally, it means young kids will start buying  Wieters T-shirts.  People will get excited to see if he is the real deal.  Camden Yards might actually get it’s buzz and mojo back.

The bar is set ridiculously high for this youngster and the weight of an entire organization will be on his shoulders.   Fortunately, everything that has been documented on the switch hitting catcher has indicated he can handle it.  Now, can he handle a pitching staff as weak as the Orioles?  At least we know he won’t be intimidated.  Being 6′-5″ and 230 pounds lends to being the intimidator, not the intimidatee.  The big backstop will hopefully command in the clubhouse as strongly as he commands attention around the country. 

I think the ball is finally put in play for the Orioles to start winning some games.   Would I say Wieters the only antidote to cure this sick franchise?  No, but he is a pretty darn good start.  Prior to the start of the season, I predicted and 80-82 record for the 2009 Orioles.  So did Sports Illustrated , by the way.  Currently that prediction looks as bad as a two dollar plate of nachos.  The call-up of Matt Wieters is helping make that plate of nachos look more like a basket of crab-cakes.  Here’s hoping GM Andy McPhail will continue with the promotions from the minors as the Summer wears on.  Imagine, the dog days of August and people around Charm City are still talking about Orioles baseball.   Matt Wieters is the start, Andy.  Keep ‘em coming!

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