20 reasons to fall (back) in love with the Orioles [Pictures]
Orioles fans often hear about the Oriole Way, "Orioles Magic" and the three World Series titles during the team's glory years in the '60s, '70s and '80s. Even 20-somethings who missed the last title, in 1983, have playoff appearances in 1996 and 1997 and the historic career of Cal Ripken Jr. to hold onto. But for many, being an Orioles fan has been nothing but disappointment, a streak of 14 straight losing seasons and teams that have started out hot, with plenty of players showing lots of promise, only to find new ways to crush our spirits. Well, here we are in 2012, and your Baltimore Orioles are sitting atop the AL East standings. It may seem like they're setting us up to let us down again, but here at b, we're buying in, and we offer 20 reasons why you should, if nothing else, go to cheer them on -- one for each year the team has played its home games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. -- Brandon Weigel
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1. Matt Wieters coming into his own
As Matt Wieters soared through the minor leagues, putting up monster numbers every stop of the way, Orioles fans were told they could expect a "Joe Mauer with power." The switch-hitting catcher arrived in 2009 and immediately wowed with his ability to handle a pitching staff and gun down runners stealing second base. But the offense never quite matched the hype -- so much so that a Baseball Prospectus writer labeled Wieters one of the most disappointing prospects of all time before the start of the 2011 season. Wieters answered by hitting .262 with 22 HR and 68 RBIs. Though he has scuffled a bit in May, hitting just .208, Wieters has shown signs he can be a more consistent power hitter. He is on pace to hit 26 doubles, 30 home runs and 79 RBIs. And with the way he handles the pitching staff from behind the plate, it's hard to be really disappointed.