There was a time I lived and died with the Orioles.
Seems like a long time ago.
My brother's old enough to remember the ecstasy of 1983, but I'm not. I had to hear about it from him all through growing up. But I do remember Mike Deveraux as a rookie, and I remember when my favorite player was a catcher who ate Froot Loops, and I remember asking "Why Not" in 1989, so that'll help y'all place me in the Orioles timeline.
My first serious relationship in high school was based in large part on both of us being Orioles fans. I'm not sure how I could have followed the team any more closely back then.
But then the Orioles jettisoned Jon Miller, and tossed Davey Johnson aside, and Rex Barney died. I moved away, and Ripken retired, and my connections to the team faded until I stopped following baseball altogether. Brian Roberts is about all I recognize now, and he's become an old man in baseball years.
I live in San Francisco now, and the joy of Giants fans last year was something truly magical. (Doesn't hurt that they wear the right colors for a baseball team) I've tried to follow the Giants, or the A's, or the Nats when I lived in DC, but it just ain't right. It's Orioles or nothing for me. And given those two options, I've picked "nothing" for many years.
So is this the year I should come back into the fold? I'm not looking for a World Series here, just hope. Just the knowledge that the team stands a chance to win any one game. Just a team that isn't painful to watch, so I can enjoy the joy of baseball again. I'm not even asking for a .500 record. But if they're not going to win more than they lose, at least they should have good young players who are learning how to win and who are learning lessons that might, if everything goes right, help the team win its next World Series.