Thursday, January 10, 2008

Day 5: Baltimore Oriole

It's the off-season in baseball, a new year in the calendar, and a great time to look around, see where you've been, and where you're going. It's a time to reflect upon your surroundings, be proud of your accomplishments, identify your weaknesses, and look to improve upon them.

Its a whole heck of a lot easier to fix a weakness, if you have a solid foundation. A hole here or there can be the focus of your complete attention. Take a team like the Yankees. Perennial favorites, they focus their attention on improving their already good starting pitching by trying to land one of the best around in Johan Santana. With their lineup in tact with All Stars at many positions, one of the top closers in the game, and up and coming stars in Phillip Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, fixing the Yankees (if your goal is to get to and win the World Series - which should be the goal of all) may be just a solid starter away.

However, if you're in the same division of two of baseball's highest "payrolled" (I love making up words) teams (Yankees and Red Sox), sometimes its not about fixing a hole here or there, its about completely tearing down walls, coming up with new plans, and starting a new.

Taking a look at the Baltimore Orioles, one can see just such a plan starting to take place. With the hiring of genetically formulated (he's got one of the best DNA's in the front office with his father Lee; a former president of the American League and former Orioles GM, and grandfather Larry; a Hall of Famer who brought night games to the majors and former chief of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Yankees) Andy MacPhail has started the demolition and reconstruction of the Orioles.

With his pre Mitchell Report trade of Miguel Tejada to the Astros for a bundle of "future stars" and the constant rumors of the next to go being starting pitcher Erik Bedard and second baseman Brian Roberts, the remodeling of the Orioles franchise has begun. With ten consecutive losing seasons, something has to be done, and recognizing the competition, sizing up your inventory, the Orioles are migrating to a new era.

Just this week, they started to not only change the make up of their team, but they're doing a makeover on the stadium as well by replacing the scoreboard originally installed in 1992 with a larger $5.2 million, 24-by-74 foot video screen and LED board. The new scoreboard is to be ready for opening day. The question is, will the rest of the rebuilding process be ready by then too?

" Took one look at that mercury, forty below, No life for a lady, To be draggin' her feathers around in the snow."

BSOD 5: Baltimore Oriole
Artist: John Mellencamp
Album: Trouble No More
Released: June 2003

Baltimore Oriole Lyrics

Baltimore Oriole
Took one look at that mercury,
forty below
No life for a lady
To be draggin' her feathers around in the snow
Leaving me blue, off she flew
To the Tangipaho-down Louisiana
Where a tootin' Jaybird
Met the divine Miss O

I'd like to ruffle his plumage
That Baltimore Oriole
Messed around with that big guy
Till he singed her wings
Forgivin' is easy-it's a woman like, now and then
Could happen to thing
Send her back home
Home ain't home without her warbling
How she can sing
Make a lonely man happy,
Baltimore Oriole
Come down from that bough
Fly to your daddy now.

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