and here I post the question...
Who are the 2009 Baltimore Orioles?
To answer this we must first step back and consider whether the Orioles have hit the bottom yet. 2008 provided flashes of the future with the emergence of Adam Jones and Jeremy Guthrie as well as the elevation of Nick Markakis and Aubrey Huff as legitimate middle of the lineup bats. However, despite the teams resiliency under Dave Trembley, they failed to escape the cellar of the AL East. This combined with the World Series appearance by the Tampa Bay Rays made 2008 another miserable experience for O's fans everywhere.
It may have been easier to bear had the team been entirely composed of prospects and rising stars like Jones and Markakis - but it was not. The presence of veterans like Kevin Millar, Jay Payton, Ramon Hernandez, Juan Castro, Melvin Mora only added emphasis to the declining nature of the team on the field. but who are they now?
will the 2009 Orioles reflect the past 11 years and continue to decline?
or will they be the first team to begin the assent?
I do not believe the answer will be reflected in the teams record at the end of the season. Rather it is more important for the fans to believe that this team is going in the right direction. For that to happen, there has to be confidence in the players that are on the field at the end of the season.
Watching the Orioles win only 70 games will never be enjoyable. However, I would rather watch them win 70 games with a young team looking to gain experience then with overpaid veterans who likely will not be with the team when it returns to the top.