A new era of Baltimore Orioles’ baseball dawns this week. On Thursday to be exact. Certainly manager Brandon Hyde and GM Mike Elias are the faces of that new era – for now. Ideally however, that will change.
Orioles fans are still used to the likes of Adam Jones being the face of the team. But those are the Birds of yesteryear. Ideally the new face of the team should be Cedric Mullins. But…is there a rule that says it has to be the center fielder?
The answer to that of course is no. Jones wasn’t the face of the team because he played center field. It happened organically, which is how it should be. Jones was the right guy for this team at the right time. You have to hope that someone on the roster now or someone who’ll be on the roster very soon takes up that mantle.
There was a lot of controversy over the Orioles deciding to leave much of their young talent in the minor leagues – for now. Many fans critical of that decision are saying that they’re opting to go with “AAAA talent” instead of having young stars in the big leagues. GM Mike Elias would probably respond, guilty as charged.
The Orioles didn’t do anything that I didn’t expect them to do. In fact, think back to some of the trades they made last year. For instance, as great of a prospect as Yusniel Diaz appears to be (and he had a great spring), former GM Dan Duquette all but admitted that neither he nor anyone else was probably big league ready. That may or may not be the case as the season goes on. But for now, the Orioles’ brass has decided that the young players are where they need to be.
The last thing that anyone is going to want is for them to rush guys to the big leagues before they’re ready. That’s a great way to not only ruin someone’s career, but also ruin the rebuild process. Furthermore the O’s have been up front about the fact that this is a long process. Trust that process.
One way or the other, this is the dawn of a new era in Birdland. The era of Showalter, Jones, Machado, Hardy, et al, will always be special to the fans of Baltimore. It was a magical time in Birdland. But you have to move on when the time comes. If the process is allowed to proceed properly, the era of Hyde, Mullins, Diaz, and Mancini could well be just as special.