Focus on long term

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Can The Orioles Have A Successful Offseason Without Signing Mark Teixeira?

December 12, 2008|By CHILDS WALKER

Success for the Orioles isn't about big wins in the short term. It can't be because they're probably two or three years from translating off-field acumen into substantial on-field improvements.

That's why we can't get too down if the club fails to hook this winter's big free-agent fish, Mark Teixeira. When dreaming about the offensive core for 2011, it would be nice to add Teixeira's name to those of Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. I'm not suggesting the Orioles would be better off without the Severna Park native or that they should be conservative in bidding for him.

A losing team only gets so many chances to sign a long-term difference-maker, and this is one.

That said, if the Orioles remain committed to young talent and avoid disastrous signings, I'm willing to call this offseason a modest success, Teixeira or no Teixeira.

So far, so good.

They haven't overspent on any mid-level free agents. In fact, they picked up a competent shortstop (desperately needed) for a relative pittance.

The Orioles finally have a band of impressive front-line prospects, and if they can pick up a few useful retreads over the next few years, maybe they can follow the Tampa Bay Rays' path to relevance. The Rays never signed a Teixeira type, and yet they're the toast of baseball.

Wins, not big names, will draw the fans back.

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