First let me say I was never a traitor. I did not switch teams. I have never worn another team's paraphernalia nor rooted for another team. I did root for certain results but I believe that was more rooting against one team than cheering on a team that is not my own. Hoping the Twins finally beat the MFYs is not an endorsement of the Twins I simply hate that team from NY more. What I did was let my fandom deteriorate.
I did not watch every heartbreaking loss. I did not drag myself to Camden to be surrounded by Pink Hats laughing at my team and try to drown their numbers with my cheers. I understand why there may be some resentment from those who toughed it out but please hear me out. Many of us who've disappeared over the years had decent reasons and perhaps sharing those reasons will help you be happy the stands are full again rather than dwell on where we were all this time. Since we were the ones who scampered it's up to us to give you reason why to welcome us back.
I grew up with the Orioles being good but not great and loved them through High School and the team's most recent winning season. I experienced the agony of watching that...miscreant...steal a playoff series and be lauded for it. I watched the next year when the O's blew a chance at the World Series allowing Cleveland to choke on a larger stage. I was as invested as almost any fan. I think I can be forgiven for letting baseball slide during the four years of debauchery and books that is college. After that I came back to a lesser team but had no doubt that they would quickly recover. After all we had one of the few owners willing to spend and not let the MFYs run away with the division. My optimism was misplaced.
The Orioles of the 2000s followed an awful pattern. Most years they would start out well enough and slowly slip into ineptness as the year moved on. They may have reached the all star break in reasonable shape but come September it was always a horror show. I would always start they year excited and paying attention but by the end I couldn't tell you who they had called up or where the next series was. Each year the O's got farther from winning and each year I stopped paying attention sooner. The losing became more painful. Even the managers deteriorated ending with Diamond Dave playing the percentages ala' Mr. Burns switching out relievers until he found one ready for a bad night. In 2009 I did not attend any games.
Last year the pattern was broken. They finally had done it right, paid draft picks, raked in the young players by trading away aging players rather than the other way around(damn you Glenn Davis) and they were on their way back. Then the season started. I don't have to tell you what it was like, that's the whole point. It was too much, I may have been the only one to find out Diamond Dave was fired after Trembly himself. I cashed out early.
Then Buck happened and I came back. Yes I was one of those who had to check the guide to find MASN again. My attention didn't wane during the hotstove or spring training but I'm always interested then. Even though we're just three games in the O's may finally be not awful and I want back in. Can I promise my love will never flag again? Honestly no. While I love the O's they aren't my family and that's the only thing for which I can truly make that promise. But I think it's damn likely. After all "not awful" is all I really need. I can stick through thick and thin if there's a reasonable glimmer of hope. I think we have that. I think it will be more fun and I'll get more out of it if I can talk to the dedicated fans here. I hope you enjoy it more when people like me show up. I want back in. Please?