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Spring At Last

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

The calendar says that officially, it is still winter. But with baseball back in action and 50+ degree temperatures outside today, it sure feels like spring. And I am one to start celebrating.

Last week, I was ecstatic when the Orioles took down the Rays by the score of 12-2 in their spring opener. We had 14 hits, 6 home runs and a wonderful kickoff to the new facility in Sarasota.

Since then, things haven't been as rosy. Losers of four straight, the Orioles are taking on the Minnesota Twins. We have been getting the bat on the ball for certain and have not scored less than 3 runs in a game yet but it is our back end bullpen that seems to be having the tough time so far.

In the losses to since our first win, the late inning guys have been blowing it for the Birds. Yes, I do realize it is spring training and it is meaningless in the long run, but given all the off season attention to the pitching staff I had hoped for a little better at this juncture. There are still several weeks left in the spring season for the team to come together, and while the starters so far looked good, I am getting a little concerned about the bullpen, especially the closer spot.

Call me jumpy, but I am concerned. Not overly worried, but none of us in Birdland want to see the Achilles heel exposed already. It could be another last place finish if we let the wound fester and the sore get bigger.

From all the reports I have been getting, our offense is top notch so far. Lots of long balls and the skills of Montanez, Hughes, and Bell have all been duly noted. Over the next 4 weeks as the roster gets finalized, it will become clear with time who will be starting in Baltimore vs. those sent back to the minor levels. Wish I had the cash to get down there and view the talent myself. Perhaps next year?

Time to turn on the Twins game and see how we are doing. I will check back with you all later in the week.


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