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In Need of Some Rest

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

At the 2012 All-Star Break, the Baltimore Orioles - a team with 14 consecutive losing seasons to their credit - stand at 45-40 and currently in second place in the AL East.  So for that alone, a big cheer should be uttered right now.  WOO HOO! 

After a very unlikely hot start, the beloved birds of Charm City have folded a bit as of late.  Blame injuries, blame heat, blame inexperience, blame errors; whatever you wish.  But the wilting has been obvious.  A 3-5 start to the month of July does not bode well.  Starting pitching has choked to say the least as of late and the team ERA has shot up to 4.02.

Our offense is a mixed bag.  We are still 3rd in the majors in home runs yet rank 18th out of 30 teams in runs scored.  We don't steal a lot of bases and we make a ton of errors.  And we still have gaping holes in several positions on the field.  Trades and guys coming up from the minors will be essential to righting the ship going forward and making a run at a wild card birth.

My assessment so far of some key players on our roster is listed below.

Super seasons: Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop, Jason Hammel

Expectations met but improvement always needed: Chris Davis, Wei-Yin Chen, Nick Markakis, Xavier Avery

Jury still out on how they will finish this season: Jim Thome, JJ Hardy, Robert Andino, Wilson Betemit

Should be fired/cut/traded as soon as possible: Kevin Gregg, Mark Reynolds, Brian Roberts,

As a fan and a devoted follower of this team, it gives me hope and pride that the team is exceeding all general expectations.  Though the critics and the media keep waiting for the franchise to crash and burn as they always seem to do via a summer swoon.  The upcoming constant division play will be the surest test of their mettle, to see if they really can play with the rest of the east's beasts. 

Realistically speaking, the Orioles will not make the postseason.  It will be very tough.  But if we can win 85-90 games, a lot of people will be speechless and the team will have officially turned a corner after all these years wandering in the wilderness looking for an identity.  Fingers crossed for continued success in the second half.

PS - Landing Zach Greinke is quite a long shot, but I will hope and pray anyway. 

July 8, 2012


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