Hope breeds hope

e-mail Pete

The collective national assessment of the Orioles trade that sent Erik Bedard to Seattle for five players says Baltimore made a good deal. They not only received value, but value in numbers. Nice to hear given that we haven’t collected much praise about the Orioles for anything in a long time.

But national pundits don’t have to care about and watch a team that offers no number one, or even a number two starter. With Bedard gone who should Oriole fans count on as the guy to stop a losing streak, or match up with the rest of the A.L. East aces?

It’s simple to talk theoretically about blowing things up, and truly rebuilding the right way. But after a decade of losing, knowing that the ability to compete remains years away has to be tough for fans.

Or so I thought.

I spent Sunday afternoon as the emcee for a charity banquet benefiting the Arundel House of Hope in Glen Burnie. Fellowship, great food, thousands raised to help the homeless, and of course sports talk made for a delightful afternoon.

Everyone wanted to talk about the trade, and to a man (woman too) they were happy. Losing so often and so badly has toughened this fan base. A few more years of battling to stay out of the basement instead of contending for a division crown doesn’t bother this group. The dozen or so that I spoke with was happy for a clear path to reconciliation, looking forward to watching players develop. Makes sense the crowd would be hopeful at the “Bid for Hope”.

Will it still sting a little when Bedard tosses one of his complete game gems? Sure. But in three years when all the talent develops and the Orioles are ready to contend, they can then go land that number one starter in free agency. At least that’s what the plan says, and for the first time in a decade, it’s a plan the fans are willing to believe in.

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