Surveying a negative landscape

While my neighbor Terry’s yard looks like a plush fairway at Augusta National and, compared to his, mine is like the U.S Open rough, that is not what I’m talking about here.

The negative fans among us may be enjoying this time like no other. I get that the Orioles deserve to be bashed for 14 losing seasons, I just don’t see the need to focus on it 24-7. Call me crazy, that’s just me.

* This is from Yahoo! Sports’ Orioles 2012 season preview:

Reputations in baseball die hard, and few these days are as entrenched as the Baltimore Orioles’. It is the place not to be. Whether it’s general manager candidates turning down the opportunity, free agents eschewing pit-beef sandwiches for (fill in delicious regional specialty) or fans abandoning lovely Camden Yards like it’s condemned, no team generates ill feelings today quite like the Orioles.

* recently published an article and asked its three top baseball analysts - Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney - to rank all 30 teams in five different categories in an attempt to measure how well each team is set up for the future.

The trio ranked the Orioles 30th and last in future outlook and wrote this:

This will be the 15th season since the Orioles last appeared in the playoffs, but there are few signs that they are moving in the right direction, or that they have established the kind of organizational bedrock needed to build in baseball’s toughest division. What needs to happen for the Orioles is a complete turnaround from Brian Matusz, who had a disastrous 2011 season, and more development from Zach Britton. Prayers could be useful, too.

Stark was asked during an ESPN Radio interview if the Orioles have any chance at all to surprise this year?

“No chance, none, zero. Maybe if they were in some other division,” he said.

* When I wrote recently about the Orioles trying to take a proactive approach to organizational pitching injuries with the use of biomechanical analysis, one fan wrote this in our comments section:

“If this “guru” methodology is so terrific, why don’t more teams use it?

I could go on with more - even add some recent Keith Law witticisms - but you get the point. There is an avalanche of negative publicity surrounding this team right now and let’s hope they don’t drown in it.

Amidst a forest of doom and gloom and constant negativity about his team, Adam Jones provided some actual positive comments this week.

“This year, like every other year to me, is about winning,” Jones said during an ESPN Radio interview. “I play to win, like Herm Edwards said. I’m out there busting my tail and want everybody to do the same thing.

“Of course, it’s a tough task, but a task that has to be accomplished. We play the Yankees and Red Sox, cool, excuse my french, but let’s bust their (butts). I want to beat them, I like high-fiving after games. That is fun to me,” Jones said.

Jones has written positive comments about this season on his Twitter account and sure seems like a player that actually believes those words and is not just saying what he thinks people want to hear. Or what he feels he should say.

I hope more players take his “bring on the Yankees and Red Sox” approach. The first step to beating those teams is to believe you can.

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