At the beginning of every baseball season, each team starts out with a blank canvas on which they might paint a masterpiece. Will it be the Mona Lisa? Or perhaps more modestly, a Bob Ross painting full of happy trees? Or will it look more like the time in middle school when I was assigned to paint Blue Boy in watercolors? That last one is lost to history, thankfully for me. Hopefully the Orioles don’t remind me of it.
All things are possible today and even the most hard-hearted pessimist cannot tell you otherwise. Will the Orioles find a Cy Young pitcher on their team for the first time in decades? Probably not, but now is a time of infinite potential, so maybe! Could Manny Machado become the Most Valuable Player on his way to being a free agent? Sure! Why not? At his best, he’s good enough to do it.
What the Orioles really need, when you get down to it, is something in the neighborhood of competent pitching, an offense that keeps the “boom” potential while lessening the “bust” times, and a solid bullpen that holds it together until there’s a healthy Zach Britton.
The roster, at its best, is more than capable of achieving these goals and surprising people. It’s easy to lose sight of that because the odds of the roster being at its best may not be as high as other teams being able to say the same. But six years ago, did you think the Orioles would make the playoffs, or four years ago, or two years ago? No. They did not look like a playoff team as those seasons began. They were great anyway.
After some anxiety with the forecast over the last week, after springtime snow shut down schools barely more than a week ago, the weather is looking pretty good for this Opening Day. Not perfect, mind you, but good enough to play baseball and not have everyone in the stands freezing their butts off. (That’s coming on Saturday night!)
The orange carpet can be safely rolled out. Another season’s journey can begin as scheduled. Let’s hope it’s a good one.
In case you missed it earlier, here’s the Opening Day starting lineup:
- Chris Davis - 1B
- Manny Machado - SS
- Jonathan Schoop - 2B
- Adam Jones - CF
- Trey Mancini - LF
- Tim Beckham - 3B
- Pedro Alvarez - DH
- Craig Gentry - RF
- Caleb Joseph - C
That’s in support of Opening Day starting pitcher Dylan Bundy. This is the second time I’ve typed out the lineup on Camden Chat and Chris Davis batting leadoff is still weird. But then, if the Orioles are going to win this year, things are going to have to get weird, so we might as well start that up on Opening Day, right?