“Balls are in the air” — as they like to say in the world of baseball when spring beckons and the Orioles head south to Florida for a 7-week tune-up before the inevitable 6-month battering begins.
It all started over the weekend when pitchers and catchers reported to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.
The rest of the invitees and major leaguers reporting to work for real will start streaming in over the next few days in advance of the official “full camp” date of February 24.
The next three months are probably going to be the most newsworthy and exciting 90 days of the season, as roster spots are made, lost and early season games give everyone a snapshot of what to expect over the course of 162 games.
Here’s my guess: We’re going to once again see a lot of losing.
If the Orioles fail to win at least 81 games this season, that will mark 15 consecutive seasons of sub-.500 baseball in Baltimore. It will also mean that this franchise, dating back to 1984, will have advanced to post-season play just twice in the last 28 years. Try not to dwell on that too much, but please do let it sink in just enough to aggravate you. A grand total of two playoff appearances in the last 28 seasons. To take that one step further – but a little less imposing – it’s worth noting that this ownership group of Orioles baseball has seen only two playoff appearances in 19 seasons.
Either way – 2 of 28 or 2 of 19 – it’s just not good enough.
And I know we’re all aware of that, those of us that still care, that is.
We know the team stinks. It’s been this way for 14 years now.
(Please see next page)