The '08 season invites focus on personality, potential
By Matthew Taylor
The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec poses "10 Questions about the Orioles" headed into the 2008 season, including one about the newly acquired Adam Jones. Unfortunately, it's not the same question I have about our new center fielder: Can we call him Pac-Man?
So the Charm City rebuilding project, - the youth movement, if you will - the one that was supposed to begin in 1996 with the David Wells and Bobby Bonilla trades that never happened, is finally underway in earnest. No more proceeding in mostly fits with occasional starts. The O's are going to be just plain bad. The absence of a clean-up hitter and No. 1 starter affirm as much. And that's just skimming the surface.
The focus for weary O's fans is the organization's new target date (For contention? A .500 record? Four months of good baseball followed by complete collapse?) of 2010. Print the T-shirts now - "2010: A Baseball Odyssey."
In the meantime, the best plan for long-suffering loyalists trying to sustain a flagging interest in their moribund team is to focus on outstanding individual efforts. In 2008 my Nick Markakis man crush shall groweth.
You now it's bad when a club that's tried to make us believe in its alternating youth movement/rotisserie ball strategy for 10 losing seasons is finally fessing up: "Oh, we're going to be bad. Real bad. Check back with us in a couple years."
Poor Dave Trembley is heading a campaign that isn't going anywhere. He and Dennis Kucinich should commiserate over an organic beer. Trembley/Kucinich '08 has a certain ring to it.
I suppose there has to be room this season for optimism. For one thing, there's no reason for stress. After all, we know what's going to happen. Every victory will be a big one. And besides, it can't get any worse than 30-3, can it?