I feel so bipolar when it comes to the Orioles. I look at the team and I feel hopeful. Promising young position players, promising starting pitchers, a GM who has done nothing but improve the team since getting here two years ago. Then two seconds later I realize how far this team is from contending and it depresses the hell out of me. This team won 64 games in 2009. That's at least 30 less than they'll need to even have a chance at the post season.
Our young players are getting better and Andy MacPhail is constantly doing what he can to improve the team, but it's hard to imagine this team getting to the level of the Yankees and Red Sox and, to a lesser degree, Rays.
Sometimes I think that maybe it's not that bad and that I just can't comprehend a good team in Baltimore. It's been so long since I've seen one that I don't really know what it looks like. And I've been let down so many times that I can't have confidence in any players or any front office. I think maybe our young talent is actually good. I mean, I hear it all the time and I see Brian Matusz have some success and Chris Tillman show promise. But remember Adam Loewen? Remember Matt Riley? I think of Nolan Reimold and I'm thrilled with his success, but then I remember Larry Bigbie. The ghosts of our awful past just can't let me believe wholly in our current players.
I want to have hope, but I don't want to have hope in something that will end up imploding. I don't even have any idea if they're worth my hope. I've been viewing baseball through this orange filter for so long that I can't tell what's real and what isn't. And it's hard to go on record with optimism about the future when I'm scared they will end up embarrassing me. Again.
I love this team and sometimes I wish I didn't quite so much. It'd be easier to just forget about them and be all "Joe Flaccooooo" all winter long and then if and when they did get their acts together in 2011 or 2015, then I'd show up. It'd be easier, but I could never do it.
64 wins. No team has won the AL East with less than 95 wins since 2000 when the Yankees took first with 87. Only once in that same time period did the wild card winner have less than 95, and it was only one less. How can they possibly do it?