Archive for March, 2011

Bold Predictions

Will the Orioles soar or stumble?  Can they finally snap the awful streak of consecutive losing seasons? Who will be a nugget?

Casey, Mark, and I put our heads together to make some bold predictions for the 2011 season.  It’s important to note that all of these are actually going to happen, so, you’re welcome.

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The once and future baseball city?

Just before 5:00 PM on Friday, March 11, the NFL players union officially decertified, legally reinventing itself as a professional trade association in preparation for an NFL lockout.

Having enjoyed relative labor peace since its last lockout ended in 1987, the NFL has prospered greatly over the past two decades, generating huge profit margins and effectively supplanting baseball as the new national pastime.

But as the millionaires and billionaires of the NFL prepare to face off in a court of law, I’m left wondering if football’s loss might not be baseball’s gain.  Could the seemingly unstoppable profit machine of the NFL inadvertently buoy its direct competition through an extended labor strike?

I think the question is particularly interesting if framed in the context of Baltimore, where an entire generation of sports fans have foresworn Orioles baseball in favor of Ravens football.  So much so, that at this particular point in time, it’s almost hard to imagine the Orioles laying legitimate claim to an equal share of the city’s affection.

While the meaning and purpose of the NFL lockout will be debated by fans, players, and management in the weeks (and likely months) to come, the longer it goes on, I believe the greater the chance it might induce interest in baseball and other sports.  Could an extended NFL work stoppage open the door, if only slightly, for the Orioles to regain some of their downtrodden fan base?

I think it actually could.

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The kids are all right

The demise of the Orioles farm system is greatly exaggerated.  Okay, maybe it’s partially true.  It doesn’t take much analysis to look at how many players we’ve graduated from the minors to the big league club recently and recognize that it’s going to impact your organizational depth.  However, unlike some members of the national media, I think that there are several players in the O’s upper minors (AA/AAA) who have a chance to be major league contributors in the near future.  Please indulge me as I offer my thoughts on their respective achievements thus far and prospective futures. (more…)

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2011 Projections: Lead-off

Spring Training is one of the most energetic times of the season for baseball fans. It’s a special place where everyone dreams big, especially Orioles fans. While it’s always a fun exercise to imagine what a team can accomplish collectively in the standings, I also like to think upon what my favorite O’s will accomplish individually. So this exercise will be the first of a series of posts projecting the O’s performances this season.

Let’s begin with the top of the order, which means none other than Brian Roberts.

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