The window of opportunity is finally open wide enough that the Orioles will have no excuse if they fail to acquire the necessary help to be competitive in the American League East next year.
The announcement on Friday night that the long-running dispute between the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and Comcast had been settled to the satisfaction of both sides creates the revenue potential that should allow the Orioles to spend what it takes to acquire a power-hitting outfielder and a No. 1 starting pitcher. Now it becomes an issue of front office execution.
At least, that's the way it sounded when Orioles attorney Alan Rifkin told reporters on Friday night that the agreement would have an immediate effect on the operation of the ballclub.
Maybe there is some other way to interpret that, but I can't imagine Rifkin was alerting fans that the Orioles would be using all that expected revenue to pay down debt and upgrade the executive washrooms. Unless he was speaking out of turn - and good lawyers generally don't do that - the message seemed clear that the Orioles now realize that they will need to spend money to make money.
It's all well and good to have the Nationals and Orioles television schedules nailed down for the foreseeable future, but advertising revenues depend on ratings, and ratings depend on the number of viewers who choose to tune in, so it's in the best economic interest of each franchise to put an entertaining product on the field.
Though it will take some time for MASN's full income potential to be realized, the Orioles apparently recognize that their frustrated fan base has reached the tipping point and they need to make a major offseason splash to recapture the market - perhaps something akin to what the Toronto Blue Jays did last winter.
We can only hope.