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Orioles fans remain confident in long term even with team’s growing pains

Everyone knows the Orioles won’t be very good this year. Almost everyone is confident in Mike Elias’s direction.

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Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. Orioles fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.

When will the Orioles be good again? One thing we can probably say for sure after watching 26 of their games is that it won’t be happening this year. This is no shock. With the 47-115 bottoming out of last season combined with a new front office that wants us to focus on the big picture, the 2019 season was never the most important season.

There is much to be done. There are players to develop in a better way than the last guys were, better players to draft, better prospects to acquire in trades, international amateurs to make an effort to sign at all, and of course, better analytics to make all of these things more likely to happen.

That stuff isn’t super likely to show up on a team that has Dan Straily in the starting rotation. Maybe some day down the road, though. It’s nice to dream, and our survey takers are happy to dream so far:

That is 91% confidence in the direction of the team, the best number since Opening Day. There are only seven teams fans who are more confident in where their team is headed. True, for most of them, success means 2019 success rather than vague good feelings for the future.

One reason a fan might feel good about the eventual direction of the Orioles franchise can be seen in their Low-A affiliate, the Delmarva Shorebirds, who’ve started off the season with an incredible 15-2 record. That’s come with great results from 2018 starting pitching draftees Grayson Rodriguez and Blaine Knight, infield prospect Adam Hall, and outfield prospect Robert Neustrom.

They’re a long way from the big leagues, but still, it’s never a bad thing when some real prospects are pushing an affiliate’s success. Maybe these guys can stay together on the way up and collect some more future Orioles along the way.

Those panicky Red Sox fans have rebounded to 86% confident after they won some games over a weekend, though they’re still in fourth place and just a half game ahead of the Orioles. The injury plague affecting the Yankees hurts their fans confidence, with the Bronx Bombers having just 53% believing in their direction. No one feels worse about their team than Nationals fans, of whom just 45% felt good about where they’re headed.

Fans of all teams were polled about one question this week:

As a point of clarification, our question writing team this week noted that they intended that “bean” could be used interchangeably with “hit.” If you’re like me, you might have a bit more rigid use for the term “bean” - that’s only when a guy gets hit in the head.

Does it change your answer if you know they’re only asking about whether a batter should be hit in retaliation for some imagined slight? It’s a little tougher to get upset about a curveball that floats in to impact the gluteus maximus, as opposed to a fastball to the helmet area.

It’s not too late to make your voice count for next week’s survey. You can sign up to join FanPulse HERE.