If I had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase “in Ozzie I trust” I wouldn’t be getting up at 3:30 AM for work any longer. I’d no longer need to work because I’d be a wealthy man from the wide spread and well deserved belief that Ozzie Newsome is a master at spotting talent and making deals for ” the right player at the right price”. This is one reason that the Ravens are thought of as a well run organization around the NFL.

The Orioles have not enjoyed the same level of respect over the last decade or so because of an amalgam of losing seasons, bad deals and an apparent reluctance to spend money. That thinking may be changing and if it hasn’t around MLB it certainly has in my mind. The last two seasons have been exciting because the O’s have been in the thick of it all season and it reminded me of how important a winning baseball team is to its host city. Through a series of smart trades ( Jones, Hardy, Davis ) and home grown prospects ( Markakis, Machado ) the Baltimore Orioles have become relevant again.

I was initially disappointed in this off season and was fearful that it was going to be a very bad year for Oriole baseball. Few players were picked up via free agency that generated any excitement and I wasn’t as excited as I had been approaching opening day over the last two seasons. Then the Orioles signed Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz and suddenly they are a much better team than they were two weeks ago, and appear ready to compete for first place in the toughest division in all sports. I think the Orioles ownership and Dan Duquette in particular deserve credit for making baseball fun again. Lord knows we complain enough when things are bad.

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