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Baltimore Orioles Finally Finding Some Magic 8

Posted on August 09, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Jeremy Guthrie has been brilliant in his first two performances since Buck SHowalter arrived in Baltimore.

In his first week as manager of the Baltimore Orioles, Buck Showalter has proven not simply to be a great baseball mind, but also a pitching guru. After more than 100 games of borderline ineptitude, the starting pitchers for the Orioles responded to their new manager with seven straight quality starts and the results are six wins in seven games and perhaps a new attitude in Charm City.

After 13 years of disappointments Orioles fans have to be careful not to get carried away after winning six of seven games against two teams fighting for playoff positions in the American League. However, the immediate change in performance both offensively and defensively is a hopeful sign that the Orioles have some of the right players in place and simply needed a manager capable of pushing the buttons.

Team president Andy MacPhail said at the beginning of the season that he believed the Orioles were ready to stop rebuilding and start playing to win. A 32-73 record in their first 105 games hardly supported his statement.

However, since Showalter’s arrival, along with the return from injuries of starting second baseman Brian Roberts and starting catcher Matt Wieters, the O’s have definitely played at a different level. Read the rest of this entry →

Baltimore Orioles: Five Key Players For the Second Half of 2009 2

Posted on July 17, 2009 by Dean Hybl
A strong second half by second baseman Brian Roberts is a key for the Orioles.

A strong second half by second baseman Brian Roberts is a key for the Orioles.

The second half of the 2009 season for the Baltimore Orioles isn’t necessarily about wins and losses, but it is about changing a negative aura that has been more than a decade in the making.

Baltimore has posted a winning mark in the second half of the season only three times since 1998 and not since 2004.

But the struggles have gone beyond just registering losing seasons. Almost every year, the Orioles have sleep walked through the last two months of the season.

Over the last four years, the Orioles have posted a .355 winning percentage after August 1 and since 1998 the team has won only 40.8 percent of their games over the last two months.

In comparison, in the first half of those same four seasons, the Orioles had a winning record twice and a .488 winning percentage.

Even this season, though Baltimore has a losing record at the All-Star break (40-48), the team has played with great intensity and had some dramatic come-from-behind wins.

If the Orioles really want to be competitive in 2010 and beyond, they need to show that they can play with that same level of intensity for the entire season. The Birds cannot have another second half of the year where they look like a team just playing out the string.

So, for the Orioles to start building for 2010 today, these five players need to lead the way and have a big second half of the season.
Read the rest of this entry →

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