Brooks Robinson counts himself among those who have been disappointed by the dismal performance of the Baltimore Orioles of recent years.
“I don’t think you can win when you have six or seven managers over 10 or 12 years and you’re changing general managers all the time,” the Hall of Famer asserted.
Following a 12-year span when the team failed to break .500, Robinson said he sympathizes with fans who long for better days.
“They have been patient long enough,” he said. “They deserve better.”
The great O’s third baseman does see some bright spots. He likes the starting pitching and he believes this year’s team has a lot of good, young players. Although there has been a lot of turnover in the front office, Robinson thinks the ship may have righted.
“I think they’ve got a group in place that can produce a winning ball club,” he said.
Jim Palmer, a Hall of Fame pitcher who played with Robinson, said it’s a much different era from the team’s glory days in the 1960s through the early 1980s. Bigger markets have access to more financial resources.
“It’s hard to compete with the Yankees and the Red Sox,” Palmer said. “Hopefully we’ll end up being like Tampa Bay, where if you lose long enough, you make the right choices and you develop them in the draft – you’ve got a chance to be more competitive.”
Palmer believes this year’s team is better than its last-place record indicates.
“Everyone talks about baseball being a marathon,” Palmer said. “Well, we’re in a marathon.”
Palmer pointed out that a slew of Orioles are on the disabled list, including second baseman Brian Roberts.
“With all the guys missing, that obviously hurts your performance,” he said, “but it does give everyone else an opportunity to show they can play at this level. Maybe down the road this will actually be a good thing for the club having a slow start.”