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Orioles: A Changing Of the Guard

I started thinking about this idea when I first learned that Jake Arrieta would start on Opening Day. Then I delved a little deeper as I considered just how unlikely it is that Brian Roberts will ever be, well, Brian Roberts again. Take those two nuggets and throw in a bunch of other concerns and the conclusion is clear: these Orioles have turned a corner of sorts.

Whether or not Arrieta becomes a true #1 (he’s not yet) the fact that he’s our #1 is significant. He’s homegrown and young, and he’s got legit talent. Like, “other teams would probably love to have this guy” talent. He’s a real contributor who started out as a real prospect, and did so in “this” era of Orioles baseball.

Roberts, on the other hand, has been and now likely always will be a reminder of the previous era. He, too, is a legit talent who had been at various times coveted by other teams. He, too, is homegrown. His particular burden is that he came of age, then passed through age, when there just wasn’t much around him. A more cynical mind might wonder what he could have accomplished on a stronger team backed by a stronger organization.

We’ll never know that, of course, but what we do know is that we’ve turned the page on the Brian Roberts era and are now into something else. Which makes me wonder: where will a guy like Jake Arrieta be in, say, five years? And will this organization have done right by him?

The 2012 season remains unlikely to be a winning season, but it very well could be a season where we start to answer questions like that. One way or another.

15 comments to Orioles: A Changing Of the Guard

  • neal s

    Speaking of change…I don’t want to (and won’t) draw any Large Conclusions based on one game, but tonight’s game is shaping up to be a damn fine win for the O’s. I’m not accustomed to them pulling off feats like this.

  • neal s

    Sure enough, hell of a win. I mean a hell of a win. I take it for what it is.

  • dan the man

    Put THAT shit on your board, Hawk.

    “Not accustomed” is right – I was ready to put this in the loss column when the O’s were down 3-1. They were booting balls, taking called third strikes, and were like 1-9 with RISP. Fate had sealed it as a typical Orioles loss.

    Ah, but then…

    It does remind me of one game a couple of years ago when the O’s came back from a 8 or 9 run deficit against the Red Sox, but other than that, it’s hard to remember a game the O’s had a chance to win, let slip away, but then came back to win in dominating fashion.

    And only had to use 2 relievers to do it. Speaking of relievers, I’m really happy that Buck/DD didn’t let Strop go based on his shaky spring. Because dude is straight filthy.

  • sci

    That last Wieters at bat was a thing of beauty. He made two errors, yes, but the guy is morphing into a true superstar in front of our eyes.

  • Mike R

    Another note about Jake, he threw I believe 115 pitches. Looks like maybe they are getting away from that 95-100 number a little. I like it. Pitch til you’re tired not pitch to a number.

    Great win though. That’s the third late game comeback already.

  • PW

    The late game comeback was awesome, but they should have never been in that position. The pitching has been a wonderful surprise, and the offense has been pretty good too. But their defense was awful last night, and has been awful thus far this season. I believe its 11 errors in 10 games, unacceptable.

    Next step is consistency. Can the rotation continue to go out and give good performances and can the offense stay productive for an entire season. Its not unlike the O’s to get out to a quick start, only to fade away come mid-May or June.

  • Andrew

    It feels like every year there’s some big comeback and everyone talks for a night about how everything just feels different and more fiesty and how there’s less “oh we give up” on the roster. Yawn.

  • dan the man

    @ Andrew:
    Buzz Killington.

  • dan the man

    @ Andrew:
    But I totally know what you mean.

    I’m less about “this team don’t quit!” and more about “this is fun right now!”

    Honestly, right now, I have no idea what to expect on a nightly basis from this squad except that: there’s a decent chance the starting pitcher will be decent, someone will make an error, and someone will hit a home run. That’s sort of their MO right now. Who knows how far it’ll take them.

  • Mike R

    Reynolds most likely air mails that throw to first to end the game. Hell of play by Betemit there.

    Anyone get the feeling that we may live and die by the long ball this year? I mean they had bases loaded 3 times yesterday, the only runs came on the Wieters slam. The only runs tonight via homer. The homer accounted for a lot in the Toronto series.

  • neal s

    @ Andrew: In all honesty, man, I’m curious: why post that comment at all? I don’t think anybody here was going overboard with enthusiasm. All I see is a few folks enjoying the wins. I mean you no disrespect but a post like that serves no purpose other than to demonstrate lazy sarcasm.

    I mean, to each his own and we take all kinds, but come on.

    With that said, a series split at least is now guaranteed in Chicago. Good stuff tonight.

    Also: new post over at MASN coming tomorrow, wherein I wax mildly nostalgic about 2005.

  • Miles

    Anyone else wondering how long this thing lasts with Reimold? And I mean that in a good way. Like, can he be a 30 HR guy on the season?

    And Wieters! Good lord. Beast mode, commence.

    I love watching a team start out of the gate strong. Let’s see where this takes us.

    Oh, and Neal, did you get my e-mail?

  • dan the man

    Right now represents the best-case scenario in terms of what we thought Reimold could be. He was struggling early on, but the man cannot be stopped right now.

    It’s all about the starting staff being competitive and being able to have Johnson close instead of Gregg, who is really the only weak link so far in the pen. Patton’s numbers are skewed from his first rough appearance.

    I think there’s credit due to Buck for a couple things, one of which is deciding early on to stick with Nolan Reimold, even in the midst of Chavez’s monster spring training. I remember he still referred to Endy as “a good fourth outfielder, maybe more”, which to me meant, “Reimold’s my guy”. And sure enough, Nolan’s finally getting his chance and doing something with it.

  • dan the man

    To comment on the actual post, it is interesting to think about Brian Roberts for a moment and have it sort of feel like when you think of Miguel Tejada or Melvin Mora. Roberts is barely part of how we think about the Orioles right now.

    The team is now Wieters, Jones, and Arrieta. It’s why I felt so nostalgic during the first couple of games when Markakis was driving the ball like the Markakis of old – “oh yeah…Nick Markakis!” Like I had forgotten about the dude already. It’s barely even his team anymore.

    Hell, even Andino has endeared himself to O’s fans after The Game last year and his improved play. He’s no longer Brian Roberts’ Replacement. He’s the Orioles second baseman.

    Weird.

  • PW

    @ dan the man:
    I would say Andino is Brian Roberts’s replacement, but I would say before he was just his placeholder until Roberts came back.