There is plenty of optimism in Birdland this year as we get our first full season of former top prospects Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, and Nolan Reimold. We also have some veteran free agent/trade acquisitions like Kevin Millwood, Mike Gonzalez, Miguel Tejada, and Garrett Atkins to bolster the outstanding young core of guys like Nick Markakis and Adam Jones. There are plenty of question marks as there seems to be every season, but I think this is the year that things start to turn around for the O's. I'm obviously a die-hard fan which probably leads to unreasonable optimism at times, but I predict that the Orioles will be 77-85 this year. I highly doubt that we will be fighting for a playoff spot just yet, but to get 13 games closer to a .500 record than last season will be a significant improvement and real progress for the young club. If they could get 13 games better again in 2011, they would be 90-72 and definitely in the wild card hunt. If the O's can go 77-85, they should also be able to creep out of the AL East cellar, passing at least the Blue Jays in the Division standings. How's that for optimistic?
With the start of the Orioles season, I am also going to officially launch a new mini collection on the blog that I have hinted about a few times over the past couple of weeks. I am now officially collecting Orioles autographs that picture the player wearing an orange uniform. I'm calling it the Orioles Orange Uni Auto Mafia, or OOUAM for short.
And the 80's...
And the very early 80's.
In recent years, the Norfolk Tides have represented the Orange very well.
And the Orioles have mainly worn them in Spring Training.
This is the major difference from my other collection: I will not pay for orange uni autos unless I still need them for my overall collection. This will be all in-person autographs or cards that I can get in a trade .
Now that the new mini-collection has launched and I've said my piece, I just hope that the Orioles can pull off a win tonight.