Catching in the years past had always seemed like it was going to be one of the team's strong points.
Going back to the days of Javy Lopez, who everyone thought was going to be a great acquisition, actually began the thinking that if the O's had a good hitting catcher, they would be way ahead of the curve.
I think that's when you began to see how important it was to have a catcher who can handle a pitching staff and do a lot of the little things that keep the ballgame in order.
Javy was an excellent hitter for a catcher. He had power, something the O's needed desperately, and he could hit for average.
The rest of the job, the defense, well let's just say, had he put a little more effort into that, it would have paid dividends.
Geronimo Gil was better defensively but he, too, didn't share the work ethic that was needed to keep the job.
Moving on down the road, we acquired Ramon Hernandez, who, at first, looked like he was going to give me a run at the O's record book; but he too fizzled after his first year.
He had all the tools to be one of baseball's best - good hitter, power, average, and the arm to go with it - the only thing missing was the desire to be the best. What a shame, because he could have made a difference.
So now we come to the latest scenario, the answer to most of the problems, Matt Wieters.
After having a chance to see what he brings to the table, I am finally convinced that if he can stay healthy, we have hit the motherload.
Here is a young man who, in addition to showing big ability to hit, he cares about the pitchers. This is what has been missing--the Orioles being able to produce good young pitching and getting the respect back that we used to have in this division-The Big East.
Being able to communicate during the course of the game, leading the pitchers in the right direction, gaining their confidence in all areas, calling the right pitches, having a solid game plan and being able to execute.
Wieters' efforts at all of these things works for me, and we are now moving in the right direction.
Meanwhile, since it might take a little time to get him to the big show, Gregg Zaun will lay the foundation for Wieters to take over.
Gregg has been to the finish line a few times and has the knowledge and the know-how to help us back on track. He will take control of the game and give Wieters invaluable information on how much of a difference a good catcher can make.
We now have two catchers who can show them the way--which brings me a step further remembering the words of former Orioles outfielder Benny Ayala, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him talk." Maybe I was referring to the pitchers...