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Home Stretch

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

In less than a week, the first MLB game of the 2010 will commence. And then the day after Easter most remaining teams will get their first chance on the diamond. And on Tuesday - finally - the Orioles will kick off the season at Tampa Bay.

Only a handful of spring training games remain including one tonight vs. New York which will be broadcast on MASN. Currently the Orioles record stands at 10-14 with two games thus far having been rained out. The roster has been slimmed down with only a few more cuts to occur prior to Opening Day.

Roberts has come back to the lineup yet there is still some concern about his physical abilities. And that concern trickles to others as well: Pie's hamstring, Reimold's Achilles, and the other bumps and bruises that come with our favorite game. And there is still the question hovering over who will become our fifth starter. I will say from the limited action I saw on TV this preseason, I am happy with the results. Are we the 1927 Yankees? No, certainly not. But we have talent and it is up to Trembley and his coaches to get the most mileage out of this team. Adding another big bat come July may help.

Watching the MLB Network special, 30 Clubs in 30 Days, I was surprised to hear a lot of positive feedback from the analysts. One even commented on Baltimore as the St. Louis of the American League with a winning tradition and die-hard fans that will come out in droves when the team begins to win again. The consensus is also that the team should win 78-80 games and finish ahead of Toronto in the division standings but below the other three.

During this time of year, we all come out of the gate with some optimism. Heck, think of what it must be like to be a Cubs fan every spring. We don't have it that bad. Fingers crossed for a year of good solid Oriole Way fundamental baseball that will alter the course of a spiraling franchise and set us back on the path to elite status.

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