by John Domen
I'm at a loss for words. For 15 years they've done everything exactly the wrong way with nary an apology, but rather a continued stream of metaphorical middle fingers to every Orioles fan out there. Sure, there was 2004 when they made a valiant attempt at putting a winner together, but when it didn't work right away, they cleaned house and haven't come close to trying again since then.
Sure you can say a bunch of new faces in the front office should improve, but we've said that about new faces in the front office that quickly got old before. Now you're trading good players for filler, and not exactly denying that you might be interested in a twice-busted PED user already a 7pm shadow of what he once was. After all, it'd be better to get him than to try to hold on to an All-Star CF you can build around, but apparently choose not to. Another Pittsburgh Pirates-like trade is certain to come with him, because now we're focusing on a bunch of bush leaguers who may, MAY, even make the big leagues. But that's our only hope, apparently. Good luck, Adam Jones, where ever you end up this year or next. And I'm sure the Yankees are already eying up Matt Wieters. After all, he surely will be next after Jones, right?
In the meantime, other additions to the club have all been minor cosmetic enhancements that don't really do anything to address any long-term needs, save for the slight chance that one of the players has a Melvin Mora-like epiphany and surprises everyone, even the front office who acquired them.
And while all that goes on, a frustrated, disenchanted, and ever-increasingly apathetic fan base loses more and more interest. I'm 99% certain this organization, at least at the top, has zero interest in winning. They simply don't care. They have their MASN money coming in, they have a few thousand fans going to the park every night, and more when the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies are in town. They are content and simply do not care. Arrogantly, apathetic, even. Heck, I'm wondering if they intentionally don't want to win, but just play us for suckers.
The rest of the front office has demonstrated little competency and ability to actually achieve the kind of success fans have a hard time even dreaming of being able to strive for anymore. Dan Duquette, saying this team will win more games than it loses, is out of his damn mind. Either he's flat out patronizing us, or he has no clue. Both are insulting. He was put in a no-win situation, hasn't seemingly done much to make it a winning situation, and will not get even a single, tiny bit of help from the top of the organization to change that.
Spring training hasn't even started yet, and many of you are already looking ahead to July when NFL training camps begin. A little closer to me is a team that was traveling at a racer's pace down the same path, but has since turned it around. They've invested in players at all levels and are putting forth an honest effort to win. And you know what? There's buzz. And many of my friends ask when I'm jumping on the bandwagon. I won't go that far, and I'll always love the O's, but I'm damn certain I'll be going to more games in Southeast DC than I do at the Inner Harbor. It'll be fascinating to watch an organization that cares.
In a Valentines Day like parlance, the Orioles are the girl who you want to fall in love with and think can be really great for you. But she won't bother putting in any effort and in fact ignores you. The Nationals are the new girl trying to catch your attention, and you hold her at arms length because you're still focused on the girl you love. After a while, a decision will have to be made though. Do you continue to pine for the girl you love, and who seemingly will never love you back? Or do you wake up one day and see that you've got a really great thing in front of you, and that it's time to move on?
Many fans have already decided to move on in that relationship. How many more will do the same? And how many times will it have to happen before someone at 333 West Camden Street actually cares enough to do something about it?
Do you agree or disagree?
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