The Orioles made two depth moves yesterday and the internet portion of the fan base lost their minds.
"We traded for Brach! Print those playoff tickets."
"Cord is the answer we've been looking for. Now let's get a Rule 5 draft pick and we are World Series bound!"*
It's hyperbolic chatter and a clear overreaction to two depth signings that don't begin or end the off season for the Orioles. But regardless of the lack of logic or thought put into these comments, they are still being written, sometimes by people smart enough to know better.
It's a problem with any type of fan culture. Judging the book by its cover - only the book is about 25% complete and the cover is not a glossy photograph or a vivid artist rendering but a simple manuscript cover with the rest of the pages marked up in red ink.
The amount of stupid thoughts and opinions I read in the comments section of Orioles blogs yesterday was mind numbing, yet pretty par for the course these days. React without any rational thought. It's what Twitter and the internet are made for. But that doesn't mean it should be accepted.
Paul and I have talked for a long time about the pro's and con's of a winning baseball team in Baltimore. It's something we very much want, but there are also issues that go hand in hand with that. Casual, lapsed fans (*cough* Ravens fans *cough*) returned in great numbers in 2013. This is good for business and a packed stadium is usually a good thing, except when fortunes aren't going the O's way. Then you get the boo birds, the critics, and ignorant fans who are there for one purpose and one purpose only - to see a winning product. The inherent problem with that logic is that even a playoff bound 95 win team is going to lose 67 games. So unless you go to more than five games a year, chances are you will be disappointed at least two or three times at Camden Yards.
And with those fans returning comes some insane, nonsensical statements on the internet. I shouldn't just poke and prod at the returning fans because I have seen just as much nonsense from long time fans, some of whom I would consider savvy to the in's and out's of baseball. After spending some time reading the opinions about the minor Brach trade and the signing of utility infielder Cord Phelps, I was exhausted. According to most of these people, the season is over before it has even begun and we are destined for fifth place in the AL East.
Yet, in reality, it's November 26th. The Winter Meetings haven't occurred. If this was February 1 and Phelps and Brach were the key additions to the team, I could understand some of the trepidation. But it's November. The Orioles have a strong core, have contended for two straight things, and contrary to popular belief are not falling off a cliff.
As Paul wrote on Twitter yesterday:
There is no need to overreact this early in the off season.
* "World Series of Bust