Orioles Team Preview

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

Baltimore Orioles
Last season: 64-98 (5th in AL East)
This season's prediction: 3rd 4th in AL East

Key acquisitions: Kevin Millwood (trade, Texas); Miguel Tejada (free agent); Garrett Atkins (free agent); Julio Lugo (trade, St. Louis)
Departures: Melvin Mora (free agent); Danys Baez (free agent); Chris Ray (trade, Texas)

Oh, the O's. Ever since watching them on HTS while growing up in North Carolina, I've had a special feeling for the Birds. Who can forget those goofy three-color caps with the Oriole Bird on them? Or, for that matter, the fact that the mascot is named "The Oriole Bird"? I do love the Orioles, and it was a great time to be living in D.C. in the mid-90s, that's for sure. Which makes this slide past mediocrity and into downright putridness all the more painful. Whatever happened to The Oriole Way?

Key player (based on the cards I have in my collection): Luke Scott, OF

As the only Oriole in my 2010 collection (so far), Scott was an easy choice as key player. However, he's not a bad choice. Although he's listed as a DH on the card, Scott splits that duty with Nolan Reimold, spending the rest of his time in left field. I like this card, because I like to see Luke Scott celebrating. I hope he does a lot of it in 2010. But if I had to pick a real key player, it would be Brian Matusz. It's his first full season in the bigs - how will he adjust to big-league hitter that have adjusted to him?

The Bottom Line: The Orioles are still a couple of years away from breaking up the Yankees/Red Sox duopoly in the AL East, as reflected in my revised prediction for this year. Still, there are signs of hope in Birdland that the team's first post-season appearance since 1997 is not too far away. This year is about taking out the Tampa Bay Rays as the "best of the rest" in the East - something that the opening series shows is easier said than done. Let's just say I have my doubts that Mike Gonzalez is a big league closer.

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