SARASOTA, Fla. (WJZ) — The Orioles talk about opportunity with their players while preaching patience to fans.
The question during Spring Training is: How patient are you?
The guys signing autographs in Sarasota, Florida, are less recognizable than recent stars who’ve moved on.
Fans have fond memories of good players and teams, while now trying to learn a new group of young Birds who usher in the early stages of a franchise rebuild.
Rebuild: The new buzz word in the Birdland fan vocabulary.
“I don’t know how to do it myself, so I just have to trust the process,” Jeff Maynard, an O’s fan, said. “But we’re going to have fun watching the young guys come up, that’s for sure.”
“We’re going to give these new guys a chance, and the manager a chance to rebuild,” Jennie Dugan, an O’s fan, said. “I think that’s what’s important, and it’s going to take three to four years, five tops, but then we’re going to have a great team because we’re Baltimore.”
There’s no real timeline or guarantee of when the O’s will be good again. Fans have to have faith, and the players are right there with them.
“It’s kinda tough to make them feel the same way we do,” Orioles pitcher Hunter Harvey said. “They want to win now and hopefully it gets here sooner than later, but gotta be patient and good times will be here.”
“Obviously you want to win,” Orioles pitcher John Means said. “Obviously it’s tough losing. But when you have certain standards set by this organization, these people running it, that we are here to get everybody individually better so we can win in the future. All of us have bought into that, that process and that regime we’re trying to create. That’s why I’m so excited about this year.”
There’s a month of games in Sarasota, a warmup for the O’s and their fans, all building up to Opening Day at Camden Yards on March 26.