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Almost the Halfway Point

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

Who would have thunk it?  An Orioles team, still owned by Peter Angelos, with all their injuries and problems, that is 10 games over .500 as we head into the last week of June.  Wow.

The brutal Interleague schedule is now complete.  And aside from the hiccup in New York where the team was swept, the Birds took every series during IL play.  Finishing with an 11-7 mark vs. the NL this year is commendable.  Sure the sarting pitching is mediocre at best right now.  We have numerous defensive gaffes, and our overall batting average and OBP is quite low.  But still we remain in second place in the division.  Why is that?

The two main reasons the Orioles are doing so well are the bullpen and the longball.  Very simple.  Yes Adam Jones is having the season of his life right now, and guys like Wieters and Chris Davis are great too, but the bullpen really is holding together and winning a lot of games that the starters could not.  Factor in timely home runs and you have a bunch of wins that you may or may not deserve, depending on which pundit you ask.

I personally was very pleased to win two games from the visiting Washington club this week.  With all the hype about their starting pitching and their golden boys Harper and Strasburg, the Orioles still won the series and took 4 of 6 this season.  With all the praise showered on the team from our nation's capital, a lot of national observers have failed to give credit to the Baltimore front office and management, for building a talented and fun team that is not bloated in ego or payroll.

As the All-Star break approaches and the honoring of Earl Weaver commences this weekend, the Birds will be facing a host of good AL teams.  Anaheim and Cleveland await the high-flying Birds.  Can the Orioles sustain their current level of play or will the other shoe drop like so many media outlets are predicting?

I am really having fun this season.  So are the Orioles.  Winning breeds enthusiasm and fan enjoyment.  Win, win all around.  Let us pray that the fun times continue into the dog days of August.

June 26, 2012


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