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The great thing about baseball is that you can debate just about any point without getting mad at whomever you're arguing with. So I hope this is accepted in the collegial spirit of that kind of give-and-take, because I've got to take issue with my friends Tom Davis and Dave Johnson for their comments on the radio post-game show Wednesday night.

Davis, in particular, was very critical of the media and fans for the current fixation with the Orioles' youth movement, and tried to make the case that no one should even be talking about players in the minor leagues until they get here because that isn't fair to the major league players.

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What a strange concept. The Orioles have spent the last two years begging fans to stick with the team because help is on the way from the upgraded player development system. The notion that fans should not be anticipating the arrival of Jake Arrieta or Chris Tillman out of respect for, say, Adam Eaton, is ridiculous.

Eaton will be just fine. He's being paid a king's ransom (though not by the O's) to get people out at the major league level and fans have every right to judge his performance and wonder if it might be more entertaining to watch Arrieta or Tillman or Troy Patton instead. I don't believe any of those guys should be rushed up to mollify the fan base, but I understand why fans are impatient to see them.

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I also understand where Tom is coming from and agree that some fans need to live more in the moment, but when the team is asking them to buy tickets now in anticipation of a better future and continually exhorting the media to focus on the long-term "plan," it's kind of tough to avert your eyes from the horizon.

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