It was taking me a while to get into it this season. The Baltimore Orioles haven't been a .500 team since 1997. They haven't really been close to .500 since then. It's been a miserable, frustrating, infuriating run. And I feel like I've been a decent fan through it all. When I lived in Boston, my roommate and I got the MLB package and took turns watching the O's and Yankees. When I moved home in 2004, I found a way to make it to Camden Yards 20+ times per season for the first few years until grad school and a baby put an end to that luxury. Every spring training I taunt my friends from college with evidence that Jeter is overrated and predictions about the Yankees' impending demise.
I find myself getting excited around opening day and really enjoying the games through April, May, and June. Every July we spend a week in Ocean City and I find myself happy to come off the beach and flip on the game every night. And then, just when we get back from vacation, I start to lose interest. I start catching maybe one game a week. I forget to check the box score. I lose track of the standings.
Maybe it's football training camp and the lure of watching the Ravens, who actually have a chance most seasons. Maybe it's the fact that the Orioles are typically dead by then anyway. Maybe life is just too busy for me to pay attention to a six month season, every single night. It always makes me sad though. I know that a few more wins would keep me around to the end.
Even though the team truly does have a lot of promise this season, it looks like next year might be more fun to watch - there are some talented but raw rookies and a ton of promise still in the minors that should be coming by then - but I think we're destined to be disappointed again come August 2010. Who knows, maybe we'll find that elusive 81 win season. But realistically this isn't our year. Again. And I know it. So I was pretty bummed out about the whole situation. If you can't get excited for spring training, are you even an American? Sure, I was reading the spring training blogs and keeping an eye on some of the box scores from this week's Grapefruit League action (Matusz and Tillman are going to be outstanding and Markakis is going to have a big year), but some of the magic was gone.
Well, I found my Orioles magic this morning. My wife brought this guy to see me this morning. Check it out:
I'm back in. My little guy has his first Orioles t-shirt. Orioles Magic is back.