Dear Orioles, Please Don’t Let Us Down

| February 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

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It was the band Extreme that sang the lyrics “there’s a hole in my heart that can only be filled by you” and, as a Baltimore sports fan, those words rang especially true to me.  Despite all the success the Ravens had experienced, there was always something missing: Baltimore Orioles winning baseball. In 2012, the hole in my heart was filled as the Orioles provided me with the best sports season of my life.

After the great 2012 season, Baltimore’s love for baseball was renewed and there was orange and black all over the city. Opening Day of the 2013 season had an atmosphere that was unlike any I had ever been a part of.  Once again, the Orioles had become an everyday part of Baltimore sports fans’ lives, and they were contenders until the final weeks of the season.

Despite not producing a playoff appearance, last season gave Orioles fans something to be happy about. Chris Davis set the single season franchise home run record, Kevin Gausman made his debut and pitched successfully in most of his outings, Chris Tillman emerged as a legitimate top of the rotation pitcher, and Manny Machado showed he is going to be one the best players in the game for years to come. Davis and Machado had two of the best seasons in the history of the franchise, which helped to almost overshadow the fact that the Orioles missed the playoffs.

Last season failed to have the same result as 2012, but fans were still behind the team and emotionally invested in every pitch. As a season ticket holder, it was great to see the rise in attendance and the genuine passion in the stands. The fans want this team to keep winning and many believe they are just a player or two away from being a World Series contender.

However, the offseason has not produced any excitement among the fans. The Orioles got rid of Jim Johnson and didn’t resign Nate McLouth, Brian Roberts or Scott Feldman. To make matters worse, the Orioles have yet to go out and acquire the significant piece that many believe they need to contend (…the one piece they did acquire failed the Orioles physical).

While it is frustrating at times to see the Orioles seemingly making their team worse, I understand baseball and realize that overpaying for a starting pitcher or a player like Robinson Cano isn’t the best thing for the franchise long term. Teams that sustain success build through their farm system, resign their home grown talent and then acquire an additional piece or two on the free agent market. I have continued to look at the big picture and will give the Orioles the benefit of the doubt. I am hoping they are saving money to sign Chris Davis and Matt Wieters to long term deals, and to give Manny Machado the ten year contract it will take to keep him here.

I really, really hope I am right and these players remain in an Orioles uniform for a long time. I love this team, I bleed orange and black, and I have supported them through their 14 straight losing seasons, just waiting for a year like 2012. I cried when they lost Game 5 of the ALDS in 2012, was emotionally invested in every pitch of the 2013 season, and was devastated when Manny Machado injured his knee late in the year.

So as a fan, I want to let the Orioles know that they do matter. This town is passionate about Orioles baseball and we love this franchise.

Please just show me there is an end goal and that there will be a lot of more seasons like 2012 and 2013, instead of the 14 before it. I will always support the Orioles no matter what, but please let’s not let things to go back to the way they were.

Orioles, please don’t let me down.

About the Author:

I have spent my entire 30 years living in Maryland and I love everything about this city. Despite the bad reputation the city has, Baltimore will always be a special place to me and I love living here. There is nothing better then Sunday afternoons at M&T Bank Stadium and summer nights at Camden Yards when the Yard is packed. You can find me all over the city so don't hesitate to share your opinion of me good or bad. Who knows, if you see me out maybe I will buy you a Natty Boh. Lets go Ravens and Lets go O's!!! Follow me on Twitter at @MRomanell.
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