The time of year when hope does spring eternal

Fans can come up with some interesting theories.

One I saw recently was that the reason it was taking so long for Vladimir Guerrero to get his Orioles physical was because he was having second thoughts about signing with the club and would end up elsewhere even after agreeing to terms.

Then I saw the headline on Peter Schmuck's Baltimore Sun column that read, "Guerrero looks a bit subdued in signing with the Orioles."

Oh, no, I know what is coming next.

"See, he really doesn't want to be here," some fan is going to write to one or all of our blogs.

I say, please don't waste a second worrying about that.

Maybe a bigger worry right now in Birdland is whether some fans are over the top with their enthusiasm for the new season.

O's fans seem psyched well beyond anything seen around here in years. Orioles magic, feel it happen. Oriole magic, we can't contain ourselves.

That's okay. Even if fans are overdoing it with optimism. Are predictions of 90-plus wins and playoff contention reasonable? No, but why stop an energetic fan at this point?

After 13 losing years, if the fans can still get jacked up like that, just let 'em go. Don't rain on that parade, OK?

It's spring training, when every team is tied for first and every team has hopes. Every player reports in better shape than the year before, the ball is coming out of every pitcher's hand just great and every hitter has made adjustments with his swing that are sure to work.

Soon enough, the real games will start. And everything that excites us now like a position player reporting early and a pitcher having a strong bullpen session will be long, long forgotten.

I've said it before and maybe the current optimism about this club proves me right. The passion for Orioles baseball remains very strong out there. Some say attendance is down and they are right. But how many teams with 13 losing seasons in a row would have as many fans post for games as the O's do?

We see and read the passion of the fans at this website. Ratings on radio and TV were up late last year after Buck Showalter took over as manager. For a club going nowhere in the standings but last place.

This town can't wait to explode and support the next O's winning team. The 13-year losing streak has beaten down some fans and made others give up and go away alltogether. But Baltimore still loves baseball.

If the fans want to be hopeful, and maybe even get a little carried away right now, what's wrong with that?

What is your take on all the enthusiasm for the O's right now? Is it over the top? Are some fans in for a let down? Or is this the time of year for that and it's completely understandable?

Follow me on Twitter: @masnsteve

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