Bringing up Manny Machado (13) was a huge bonus in 2012, but, for the O's, what's next? credit: Joy R. Absalon US Presswire

A Letter to Dan Duquette on "behalf" of Orioles fans...


Dear Mr. Duquette,

My name is Margaret Hooper, and I am an Orioles fan. Whew! It feels so good to be able to say that! For a long time, I often didn’t mention which baseball team I rooted for because of the immediate laughter it generated from my friends. “I’m so sorry, you’re an Orioles fan?” Then, last year, everything changed. You know it better than anyone, you were there! You told us all to BUCKle up & the 2012 Orioles took us on an amazing ride. I was 9 the last time the Orioles made the playoffs, so to experience the joy of October baseball once again was magical. But, the season ended with a loss, so here’s the hard part, now what?

I like playoff Orioles! Credit: Bob DeChiara-US Presswire

We’re now just over one month away from pitchers & catchers reporting for the start of 2013 spring training, and, to be honest, the O’s don’t look all that different from when we last saw the team in October. It seems like all I heard last year was, “how are the Orioles doing this without a true #1 pitcher?” or “prolonged success isn’t built on the longball, how did the Orioles make the playoffs?” With that in mind, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping to flip on espn.com one day to see a headline about the Orioles making a big move, signing a major free agent pitcher or power hitter. I trust you, Mr. Duquette, I really do; but with Spring Training being so close, I’m a little worried!

I’d like to know what you think…is it them or is it us? Baltimore is one of the classic, ultimate baseball towns. Is is a matter of there not being a fantastically awesome free agent class? Are the big time players shying away from coming to the AL East? Toronto has been completely made over, why haven’t we done the same? We don’t need a lot, but there are some MAJOR pieces that I kinda thought would be in place (or being put in place) by now…JJ Hardy could use a partner at 2nd base to add some pop to the lineup & who is good at turning double plays. Jason Hammel pitched admirably in Game 1 of the ALDS, but is he a true #1 pitcher?

Mark Reynolds, now a Cleveland Indian, was a major power hitter for the O’s last season. Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US Presswire

Letting go of Mark Reynolds meant a lot of power has disappeared, do we have someone who can replace it?

I may have moved away 11 years ago, but, when it comes to baseball, I am a Baltimore girl through & through. So, help me out here, Mr. Duquette, what’s the plan? Michael Morse seems like he would be a strong option in left field, & he brings a lot of pop. Justin Upton just vetoed a trade to Seattle, and he plays in the outfield? We are true Orioles fans, and this summer can’t come soon enough. Until then, though, it would be nice to have at least a little bit of reassurance that our O’s are forging ahead to build the strongest, best team we possibly can.

Sincerely yours,

Orioles Fans everywhere

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