Spring training is typically an exciting time to be a baseball fan. It is a midwinter reminder that better things are on the way. As an Orioles fan, however, over the past decade-and-a-half, spring training hasn't always been the winter blues buster it should be.
There simply was not much reason to get excited about the Orioles the past 15 seasons. A losing April, followed by a losing May, followed by a...well, you get the idea. It is hard to get excited about a new season, when a losing season is almost certainly assured.
Last season was supposed to be the same way.
Ninety losses were a foregone conclusion. But then something special happened. The Buckle Up Birds flipped the script and rose from the ashes to win 93 games and secure the franchise's first playoff berth since 1997. Now, for the first time in what feels like an eternity, the Orioles have given their fans a reason to pay attention to spring training and revel in the potential of the upcoming season.
As winter's icy grasp loosens, keep an eye on these most important developing spring training stories that will go a long way to determining the Orioles' fate in 2013, but more importantly, get excited about the season, because the Birds are back baby!