Who's Lighting the Fire?

The Birds return to The Yard Tuesday after going 1-5 on the recent road trip.

There are low points in every season, but this one feels particularly painful for the Orioles, perhaps because it followed such a high the week before.

The team was unable to get anything going against the Athletics, and I'm not convinced Oakland is that good of a team despite sweeping the Orioles over the weekend. The same can be said about Seattle, and they took two out of three this past road trip.

In Oakland, the O's starting pitchers combined to go 4.2 IP over the three-game series. That was the killer. Even when the bullpen came in and kept the Birds in the game (as they did Sunday) the bats were silent.

If you looked at the O's offensive numbers over the past three games, you'd think they'd gone up against C.C. Sabathia, Roy Hallady or Zack Greinke. Instead, the Orioles were held to just five runs total in the three-game series against Dallas Braden, Trevor Cahill, and Vin Mazzaro. That stings.

There isn't a player in that clubhouse who thinks it's acceptable--not with the offensive talent in the O's lineup. I'm wondering though if anybody will speak up about their frustrations--not with the media, but with each other.

Who knows if they're even at that point yet?

If so, could this be a good time for a team meeting?

If so, who is going to call it?

One of the things I've noticed about the Orioles this year is there are a lot of players who take their jobs very seriously and are very good on the field, but there aren't many who seem comfortable in the leadership role.

It's a fair question to ask: Do the Orioles really have a team leader? If not: Does it hurt them in times like these?

I'm not sure if a team meeting is the cure-all right now, but I do know a little intensity and demands for accountability can go a long way.

Just one week ago the team won five straight rejuvenated by the young buck call ups. It looked like the tide was changing and the season was heading in a positive direction.

This year's Orioles have proven what they are capable of and I think they can be very dangerous when everyone is playing up to their abilities. That hasn't been the case recently. Let's hope the O's can get back on track this homestand.