In my Baltimore Orioles column yesterday I referenced “my 1980’s childhood.” I also asked a rhetorical question as to whether or not that might have “foreshadowed” something else. With me there’s always more than meets the eye; of course it foreshadowed something! Today is a day for which I, along with multiples of other Back to the Future fans have waited for thirty years. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the future!
In case you didn’t know, today is Back to the Future Day. According to the trilogy, Doc Brown took Marty McFly (and his girlfriend Jennifer Parker) 30 years into the future to October 21, 2015. And yes folks, that’s today. So somewhere in northern California (because I’ve always been told that the fictional town of Hill Valley was located somewhere in the San Francisco/Sacramento cooridor) today a DeLorean will be popping into existance with a silvery-haired scientist, and two teenagers – from 1985.
Don’t take that literally, because we all know that it’s only a movie. Furthermore there are so many predictions in that movie which haven’t yet come true; I’m still waiting for my flying car, hoverboard, etc. But the funny thing of course is that there are a few things that the fictional 2015 (which in reality was just a futurized version of the 1980’s) actually got correct. Namely the Chicago Cubs are very much in play to win the World Series. (I wish I could go back to the beginning of the season and put some money on the Cubbies!) But if you look at the television in future Marty’s house, it looks like what we would now call a “smart TV.”
Furthermore Pepsi is releasing a product called “Pepsi Perfect,” which is the Pepsi of the future in the movie. I am and always will be a Coca-Cola man. But I’ll definitely be trying that product! All of this of course takes place in part two; but it’s a scene at the tail end of part three that should give Orioles fans pause.
As Doc Brown and his family blast off in their new time train, the Doc tells Jennifer “…your future hasn’t been written yet. Nobody’s has! So make it a good one – BOTH OF YOU!” That’s good advice, incidentally. And it should be clear that the Doc was saying that to all of us – including Dan Duquette and the Baltimore Orioles.
We know that the future hasn’t been written yet, mainly because time travel doesn’t exist aside from in movies. Now the cynics out there are going to ask me how I can possibly know that – if the future isn’t written yet, is it not out of the realm of possibility that it could exist down the line? Sure it is; but in the name of Sir Isaac H. Newton, would it not stand to reason that we’d see future time travelers in our present now?!
Courtesy of Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE
Nevertheless, what we do know is that the future is what we make of it now in the present. And Dan Duquette should take that to heart when working up the roster for the 2016 Orioles – and beyond. That doesn’t necessarily mean that certain players absolutely have to be back – or else. But it does mean that if there’s different personnel, the power and average has to be replaced. If utility players are going to be passed off as starters, the future that Duquette’s going to make might not look as bright.
But if certain elements of the team remain the same, or are improved, things will look a lot better. And mind you, I’m not talking necessarily about one player. The Orioles need to find a way to improve their run total and stem the amount of runs that are surrendered. Signing washed up veteran pitchers or trotting a utility man out a first base on Opening Day isn’t going to do that. If anything it could make things worse.
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But if the O’s somehow land a power arm and are either able to keep or replace the power in the lineup, that future will look much better. While O’s fans should not want the team to overspend on anyone so as to jeapordize the future of the club, they should also keep in mind that the time for searching for nuggets is probably gone. The pieces have been in place; they just need to either keep them and add to them, or replace them with comparable pieces…
…to restore the Orioles to working order. Just as Doc Brown’s “1955 counterpart” restored the DeLorean time machine to working order. I could sit here all day and make references to the trilogy, and the fact is that I see it as a symbol of my own childhood. I enjoy watching it from time to time just to see life how I remembered it when I was a kid. Be it the 80’s styles, language, or even cars such as a DeLorean. It’s all pretty “heavy.” But again, Dan Duquette should take the Doc’s advice of making the future a good one to heart. Because the future isn’t written yet.