When the throws of the 2010 season are in place, I think we will all learn a few things about the character and makeup of the Baltimore Orioles. The preparations were made, the execution of the plan is firmly in place and the prospects of an exciting 2010 season lay in front of us to embrace and celebrate!
Grow the roots of a vibrant franchise from the inside out. A strong and intensely competitive farm system that is fertile territory to develop a pipeline of young stars. THIS is in place! Matusz, Tillman, Bergesen, Arrieta, Hernandez, Reimold, Pie, Jones, Wieters, Bell, Snyder, Berken are just the tip of the iceberg of young talent assembled through smart drafting and sharp trades.
The cool thing is that most of these youngsters will be an instant improvement over last year just due to their natural ascent to their high ceilings. Wieters will bring even BETTER offensive numbers than last season's debut. Same for The Preying Matusz and Tillman. While we will feel a sadness in seeing some of our favorites leaving the squad like Melvin Mora, Andy smartly infused fresh new veteran talent into the mix. Miguel Tejada and Garrett Adkins bring big bats and a veteran presence to the budding Orioles offensive arsenal. The fact that Tejada wanted to come to Baltimore is a nice gesture to the fans who may have thought he wanted a bridge burned. He could have gone many different places, but I feel he wants to prove to Baltimore Oriole fans that the tragic mistakes he made during his first run with the Orioles are in the past and he is itchin' and driven to make this new chapter his all-time best. Kudos to Miggy for manning up and welcome back to the nest!
Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts bring a steady consistancy to the team. The question mark will be the bullpen, but Andy seems to have built this team to give us many options in the pen. If the pen is set, we are in business!
There is no QUESTION that the Orioles future gets better everyday. I am excited about the upcoming season. I will continue my assessment of the team's progress as they move through spring training.