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Robison: Recommiting to the Orioles (April 4)

Matthew Robison | Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Last year, I gave up early. As an Orioles fan, I had grown accustomed to seeing a surprisingly good team take the field in Camden Yards during April and May every year, only to watch them fall precipitously to the bottom of the AL East standings.

I even wrote a column with about five different predictions about Major League Baseball, all of which were wrong. I said the Orioles would eventually make their way to the basement of the standings. Wrong. I said the Red Sox would recover from their terrible start and make Bobby Valentine look like a hero. Way wrong. So I’m done making predictions. I’m also done being a band-wagoner.

So this year, I’m sticking it out. When the Orioles made it through August, September and eventually clinched a spot as a wild card team in the American League playoffs, I was ecstatic. Despite losing to the Yankees in the divisional round, baseball was officially back in Baltimore.

So this year I’ve made myself a promise. I’m not going to sit around and wait for the Orioles to make a move. I’m going to be there every step of the way. And it’s not just going to be about the Orioles, either.

I’m going to make a concerted effort to follow every Major League team, at least as well as I can. In years past, I’ve had one of those, “I wonder who’s doing well this year,” moments once about every two weeks. I’d pull out my phone, check the standings and go on living my life. But this year, if someone asks me on June 15 what the AL West standings look like, I’ll be able to tell them.

I might not know who is hitting 7-8-9 for the Astros, but I’ll know whether they’ve won three in a row or lost seven straight.

Every fan likes to pride themselves on knowledge of their team, of passion, of undying love. In the last 10 years, I haven’t been that to the Orioles. In a way, I feel like I’ve joined the rest of America in writing them off. Maybe my renewed baseball fanhood is just a continuance of the bandwagon I never abandoned. But maybe I can make up for that with a little extra effort.

Over the last four years as a sports writer, I’ve learned it’s fun to cover a winner. It’s fun going to Purcell Pavilion and watching Skylar Diggins and Notre Dame win night in and night out. What’s tough is sticking through the tough times. And I have fallen victim to those hard times.

But to be a credible fan, you have to know what’s going on. So this year, I’m going to make sure I know.

This year, I’m in it for the long, 162-game haul.

Contact Matthew Robison at mrobison@nd.edu

The views expressed in this Sports Authority are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.