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Orioles fans: What's freaking you out already?

We throw out this topic today because we know many of you -- especially our more down-at-the-mouth, hard-drinking customers -- are Orioles fans.

Oh, we understand why you're so mopey and irritable at times. You cheer for a team that's had 12 losing seasons in a row. A team that specializes in second-half collapses of almost Biblical proportions. A team that has to go up against the rich bullies of the American League East -- the Yankees and Red Sox -- and almost always gets its butt kicked.

So to you, our lovable, neurotic Orioles fans, we throw out this question: after one full week of spring training, what's your biggest concern about this 2010 team?

Is it second baseman Brian Roberts and his $40-million contract and the 'small' herniated disk in his back, an injury everyone at the Orioles camp in Sarasota, including the janitors, seems eager to spin in a positive way?

Is it pitcher Brad Bergesen's shoulder, hurt when he filmed a 'This is Birdland' commercial over the winter, proving there's no end to the innovative ways O's players can end up in the trainer's room?

Is it pitcher Chris Tillman's back, which tightened up after a night of sleeping on a couch? (See above paragraph regarding innovative ways O's players get hurt.)

Or is your concern non-injury-related? Do you stress about whether Miguel Tejada can successfully make the switch from shortstop to third base? Or whether Garrett Atkins, who played mostly third for the Colorado Rockies, can be the first baseman the Orioles so desperately need?

Let us know. We're here for you. No free drinks, but you get the next best thing (well, sort of): someone to listen to all your crazy fears.

Wait, did we say crazy fears? Check that. We meant we're here to listen to all your well-founded concerns.

Daily Think Special: What's freaking you out already, O's fans?


high beer prices

My crazy fear is, we'll never get rid of all the snarky, negative, chicken little-sky is falling posters on these O's sports blogs who insist that everything is bad, nobody here can play, that the entire team should just quit and go to work for a 7-11 in the midwest somewhere...posters who are throwing in the towel even before the first SPRING TRAINING game...posters who can't let a post go back without a "McFAIL" reference...who evidently are supplied with far greater and detailed scouting information than the Oriole leadership as they seem to be certain that Josh Bell, Brandon Snyder and company can't cut it...who will curse us with season long postings of "FIRE TREMBLEY." Posters who would find fault if the Orioles signed Jesus himself ("Oh yeah, he can turn water into wine but can he hit a curveball?") So to all those posters, and you know who you are, I invoke that old children's rhyme about rain...Poster, poster, go away, come again some other day...preferably on a Yankee or Red Sox blog, but get the bleep out of here! GO ORIOLES!!!!!!!

On the bright side, pitching may be improved, including the 'pen. Team may even hit for fair BA. But who will drive in any runs? There is very little pop on this team. Will we see a lot of 4-2, 2-1, or even 2-0 losses? What a shame.

I wouldn't say I'm freaking out, but my biggest concerns are: 1) starting pitching; and 2) Atkins. If the starting pitching comes together and Atkins rebounds from last year's season, I think the O's could actually contend this year (I know, I know, I've been drinking too much Orange Whiskey).

Dan: I can't limit my free-floating O's anxiety to a single thing, so here's a list:

We get the seceond-half 2009 Luke Scott rather than the first-half 2009 Luke Scott.

We get the 2009 Garrett Atkins rather than the 2006-2008 Garrett Atkins.

We get the first-half 2009 Felix Pie rather than the second-half 2009 Felix Pie.

We get the 2009 Jeremy Guthrie rather than the 2008 Jeremy Guthrie.

Tillman, Matszu, and Begesen really aren't ready, and neither are Bell, Turner, or Snyder.

Neither Gonzo nor Jim Johnson can close.

Adam Jones slumps coming off his All Star/Gold Glove year.

Roberts back is a big deal.

Miggy and Millwood's ages catcheup to them.

Wieters and Riemold have sophomore slumps.

Nick Markaris has a power failure.

It goes on and on and on...

I'm freaking out because the O's are still owned by someone who doesn't care about wins/losses. He's more concerned with buying new restaurants and stashing away all of his MASN money.

The Yankees and Red Sox Rich Bullies?

Baltimore has a large fan base. Why it permitted the Washington Nationals to move in their space was bad management.

It is not money that has held back the O's from winning. Sour grapes.

The implications if the O's prospects don't pan out. I love that they are finally building from the farm. That being said, if most of our guys don't show they belong, it could easily be another 5 or 10 years until we can get even remotely excited about or prospects of actual contention (pun intended).

Most contending teams build themselves with a solid mix of both free agency and the farm. That's why teams like the Angels and Dodgers have been successful. Of course, they have money, but so do the O's. We continue to sign stop gaps and hope all of our young guys pan out. Of course some will; but they are still prospects. Most probably won't turn out as good as expected, especially the pitchers.

If you don't want to read my insanely long post from earlier, I'm afraid that if we don't mix it up and add more long term options from free agency to go along with our re dedication to the farm, we might not contend for much, much longer.

I know about back problems so the Roberts injury is gonna be with us all year...probably the rest of his career.

As for the Bergesen thing, that causes a certain amount of anxiety toward Orioles' management for putting a rookie pitcher in a position like that in the first place, knowing that he was shut down with that shin injury.

Honestly, my chief concern is that the O's will finish close to third and they will decide to stay pat even though they still don't have the number 4 hitter they need to be in the hunt for winning the AL East. Seriously, this team will be that much better this year.

kevin whos worried , if mcphfail thought we were even close trembly would have been long gone , my only worry is if we are playing better i prey trembly does not blow out thses young arms by july1st , on the other hand if we suck again he will be gone , why waste any cash on a good mgr. when we are not going anywhere . i been watching the orioles since 64 and i think this mgr. might be the worst we ever had . you comments please

Can I survive until August and the beginning of football season?

I think the O's will have problems to injuries, but I think we can get over this fear. I think the O's will look good. I could agree with some fans about Miggy's second time with the O's, but I think they will be good with the moves they made. I think we will might be better than the Rays and they will be better than the Blue Jays.

not freaking out about anything, were tied for first......

it comes down to money. Boston & NY have it and spend it. we have less (i guess) & spend less,& apparently always will. so no A-Rod in orange, ever, or anyone remotely as talented. yes, andy has us on track to become, maybe, the next Twins, but that's not nearly enough in our division. i love our young pitchers and solid guys like markakis and, especially, surprises like felix pie, but there's not a superstar in the bunch. so, i think third-place will be our ceiling, and not right away, either. gimme a smiddick's. three, actually.

I worry that signing Ben Sheets, 10 million or not, could have been the one move that could have pushed the Os up to the next level of competitiveness and bought Chris Tillman another year.... the time he needs to become a legit Major League pitcher.

I'm freakin' out because I can't wait for the season to start! I'm excited about this team's talent and chemistry. I think McPhail has done a great job with the team.
I haven't been this pumped about the season starting in over 10 years. All of the negative posts are incredible. We have a young and exciting team that I believe will open some eyes around the league this year, and only get better the following years.
Keep it positive O's fans!! GO O'S!!!!!!

Kevin - good job so far running the bar. I'll put in a good word for you with Connolly when he gets back. Although the paper towel dispenser in the men's room has been empty for a while now - not that most of the guys in here wash their hands anyway.

Danny - unless Kevin trimmed your original post it was far from "insanely long". Trust me, I know long posts from both sides.

What worries me most is Roberts's back. For most of the other question marks there are already at least viable alternative options available within the system. There is a lot of pitching talent in the organization and even a few stopgap retreads still available on the free agent market if they don't want to "rush" any of them. Since nobody is pencilling in Berken or Hernanadez to start in the rotation this year that already gives them two candidates that would not be rushed if they had to find a temporary replacement for Bergesen, Tillman, or someone else.

They have mix-and-match pieces for OF, 1B, 3B, DH and utility players even without Bell and Snyder. They could even make do at SS if they absolutely had to, and could put an acceptable defensive replacement at 2B.

But Roberts is the sparkplug that makes the offensive engine run. Nobody on the team has shown the ability to replace his bat at leadoff and his legs on the basepaths. With him, the team has the potential to score a lot of runs even without a single "big bat" hitting 30+ HR because they have at least half a dozen guys with the potential to hit 20+ and another 3-4 that could go 12-15. Without him, I see the team struggling to score runs. Maybe not as bad as the early 2009 Nats, but close.

Side comment: the verification words right now are "bar blurting". How'd you manage to make that one happen just for me?

13 losing seasons in a keeps going and going and going.

Frustrated fan from Harrisburg:

I agree with the comment that this team is on schedule if we are building a Twins organization model! We must remember the Twins competitive in the AL Central but have taken a licking from the Al East in the post season. They can not or will not pay superstars so they trade them for prospects.

If the Orioles continue to do business the Mcfailf way, we will the the best 3rd place team in baseball, but no brass ring. I do not see Pete A spending for big time players every again. That boat sailed in 1997. Mcfail also was in charge of the Cubs and even spending money did not get them into a world series.

Frustrated fan


A Natty Bo and some Beer Nuts, please! Oh, by the way, why does Mr. Boh only have one eye?

What bothers me most are the Oriole fans who can't wait until the season's even started to start bemoaning what for all the world looks like a better team than they've had in years. (At least give them a chance to play some games before you start carping, okay folks?)

Grammar Gripe: Seemingly you and everyone else writing on the Orioles talk about Brian's "'small' herniated disk," whereas I doubt that that disk is of different size than it's spinal neighbors. I believe what he's been suffering (and which we all hope is mostly mended by now) is a small (as in minor) herniation of the disk.
Funny baseball beer commercial (anyone recognize the Oriole at bat?):

I'm most worried about B-Rob's back.....we aint going nowhere without a table-setter.

I am optomistic that the team will be much improved this year. You can tell things are better when you remember the starting rotation at the beginning of last season.

I enjoy very much watching the Oriole broadcasts. The thing that worries me is that it appears we again be forced to listen to Mike Flanagan again. I think he is the worse analyst they have ever had and it makes me mad that he is back. Why can't they bring back Brother Lo. And while they are at it get rid of Gary Thorne and bring back Mel Proctor.

I'm worried that the braintrust thinks that 98 losses is moving in the right direction.Pretty scary.And there's even more question marks then last year.If everything pans out maybe .500,if not things could get ugly.The first poster cracked me up posting about negative bloggers already,hey we're not negative,after 12 years of losing we're just realists.

honestly my biggest concern is that i can't get a beer at pickles during the yankees series because its mobbed with yankee fans. again. ditto the mets series (o's fan trapped in nyc, coming down for both!)

on the field...i think the biggest problem is that if you go through the lineup, position by position, we think we have an ok team. but if you go position by position against our primary competition we are the worst team every time. and by a wide margin when it comes to pitching. we are getting better, but everyone else seems to get better at a faster pace.

since earl left the orioles
have been losers and that
is a fact...

the orioles are just a hollow
shell of promises and what
could happen if they improve..

after 13 seasons, enough is

if i am town i may go see
a game, but i just don't get
excited after being spoiled
with the late 60's, early 70's
and early 80's teams

they played some great

BEN SHEETS WILL BE LUCKY to win 10 games .he, has not pitched in three years ,. he is a loser big time , what did oakland see ,.

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