Well, for fans of the Orioles, the calendar has flipped from April to May and it has been a surprising season so far. As of this morning, the Orioles are flying high with a 16-9 record, and sit one game behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East standings.
There are some very compelling and unexpected storylines in the game today, and the Orioles definitely qualify as of one them. Seriously, I do not think many fans, media or so-called experts thought that this team would sit near the top of the division this late into the season.
Who knows how long Baltimore can stay competitive? But if the Orioles can play some consistent baseball and pitch well, it may be a compelling summer in these parts for a change. I was little skeptical about some the moves that Dan Duquette made, but he may be on to something.
In fact, I figured the Orioles would be struggling right about now with the talent they have, the young pitching, plus the division they play in. Then again, you actually have to play the games, too.
In the offseason, I predicted the Birds would see their win total in the sub-70s.
If they keep playing at this rate, that will not happen.
However, we’ve been fooled before. Do you remember 2005? OK, well the team was completely different and there were some mitigating circumstances that led to their freefall.
We, as fans, have had our hopes built up - that year, the ones before that and during Baltimore’s 14-year drought, only to see things crash. However, being a fan is sometimes all about blind faith and hoping for better days.
I think the tide is about to change with this organization. I do not think they will win the AL East, nor should we all making plans for the playoffs. The Orioles are definitely a lot better than they have been in the past, for sure.
The Orioles have a tough road ahead in May, as we all know, and the month could pretty much serve as a litmus test as to where they stand.
Their first stop was in the Bronx to face the New York Yankees. So far, they have passed the test - taking two out of three from the Bronx Bombers. As evidenced by the dominating win last night, the Orioles of 2012 may not resemble the gang we’ve seen in years past.
Now they head to Boston, and then host the Texas Rangers at home, followed by the Tampa Bay Rays, and their homestand ends with another Yankee series.
The offense has come through in key moments, the bullpen is pitching spectacularly. However, much of the Orioles’ success has come through the starting rotation. Are the Orioles really the team we are seeing, just a mirage or something in between?
Who knows? Only the next five months will tell us.
However, to keep it up throughout the season and stay competitive, they must cut down on the errors, work on producing runs in key situations and the starting pitching must do its job.
I would be surprised if the Orioles are in first place in June; let’s enjoy the ride and honestly, after what I have seen over the past month, anything is possible now.
Anthony Amobi blogs about the Orioles at Oriole Post. His observations about the O’s appear as part of MASNsports.com’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our site. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.