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The New Era

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

Well, it does not look that different so far from the last one. Juan Samuel is now 2-4 as the interim skipper for the Orioles and has a lot more tough opponents coming up within the next week. After the METS leave town we are on the road at San Francisco and then San Diego, both of whom are well over .500 at the moment.

Has there been any improvement with the club? I think a little bit though some base running gaffes and errors cost us about two games. The hitting has gotten a bit better but the pitching does have a way to go for sure. The movement of David Hernandez to the closer role is a superb choice. I like that kid a lot and maybe he can settle into that spot and make the 9th inning his for good.

Are we a .500 club? No, not yet. We need more RBIs and timely hitting and starters that can go a bit deeper into the game. The rotation of Matusz, Guthrie, Tillman and newbie Jake Arrieta seems to work well though poor Kevin Millwood may not be around much longer. The guy has the worst luck with no run support and no W's to show for it this year.

As we head into June and July I see some great changes in our lineup coming. Atkins should be gone soon and Reimold could return. A couple of other trades before the deadline would benefit an anemic offense. No one knows when a new manager could take over on a permanent basis but rest assured he will bring ideas to the table as well.

Now with all the hype surround the NATINALS this week, I want to add in my .02 on that franchise. 1) Washington DC did not deserve a team. Despite being without a club for 30 years, the fans really don't support the franchise. And the DC metro area is huge! The Expos should have been contracted out of the league in 2001. 2) Even with Zimmerman and new phenom Strasburg, I still don't think they are that great of a club. You have cheap owners, a hollow fan base (check MASN ratings and you will agree), a so-so overpriced park in a crummy area, and in a division where they will almost always finish last. I am not buying into their "franchise of the future" moniker and I will personally enjoy seeing them flounder again for the rest of the year. That city should never have been given a team to begin with and it is one of the many reasons I despise Bud Selig.

So Orioles fans, do we have anything to look forward to this season? I would like to see Wieters and Jones regain their forms. I would like to find a good 2B person to hold down the fort until/if Brian Roberts returns. I want to see Felix Pie back out in LF. I want to see a few more Ws before October and maybe some packed nights at the Yards. And I want all of us not to abandon hope just yet, even though we very easily can.

More next week as inter league kicks into high gear.

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