Baltimore Orioles: The 10 Worst Things about the Offseason

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Oct 3, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA;Baltimore Orioles catcher

Nick Hundley

(40) celebrates with right fielder

Nick Markakis

(21) after winning against the Detroit Tigers in game two of the 2014 ALDS playoff baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

#7.  Saying goodbye to beloved players – It is inevitable that, especially when a team enjoys several years of success, beloved players are going to move on due to the economics of it all. There is simply no way to retain everyone, and the hurt of losing a long-time and popular player is especially felt in the offseason.

After 2013 there was the loss of Brian Roberts who played 1327 games for the Orioles in 13 seasons. But his departure was more of a defection, stating at the time that every boy grows up hoping to wear pinstripes someday. Not really, I grew up closer to New York than Baltimore, but I only ever wanted to wear orange and black with a bird on the cap.

But this year most money was on Nick Markakis staying and a deal working out to make it possible. It didn’t work out, he had surgery this past week, and only time will tell if not going an extra mile or extra year would have made the difference and been a wise move. He’ll be missed.

It was rather amazing, yet pleasing, to see Nelson Cruz gain the affections of the Orioles fanbase so quickly and so thoroughly. Probably not many players have ever been embraced that much in such a short time. Hitting 40 home runs will do that; but it was more than simply performing well – he’s a genuinely good guy.

So it is difficult in the offseason to see players like this leave and jerseys with their names on it become obsolete.

#6.  The emphasis on dollars and cents, rather than balls and strikes or hits and outs I could name a couple of sportswriter colleagues that really grove on the business / legal / financial side of the game. I am not one of them. In my view, those elements are all things to be tolerated and endured in order to make possible the true thing of value – the great American game of baseball. And the offseason is when the business side dominates the sports side. It’s a game! Let’s play ball!

#5.  The annual reminder that the resources are not as extensive as 75% of the rest of the division and half of the rest of the sport – Speaking of the business side of it, the offseason brings to the front burner the annual issue of the extent of Orioles resources available for free agent acquisitions and payroll obligations. It dredges up the feeling amongst a number of the fans that the Orioles tend toward the cheap and overly cautious side of the spectrum.

In fact, the Orioles are at the median or slightly above the average payroll in MLB. Some fans are surprised by this fact when made aware, while others believe the resources are available to be even more highly ranked in terms of salaries and the aggressive pursuit of top talent.

Whatever the reality of that situation, the persistent narrative is that the Orioles are unwilling to spend sufficiently to gain the best product, and that conversation is a weary but major part of every offseason.

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