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Matthew Taylor: Comparing 2012 and 2013 in terms of bullpens and bats

How are the 2013 Orioles different from the 2012 Orioles? If you answered that the bullpen isn't as good this year, you're right. If you said this year's team doesn't hit as well with runners in scoring position, you're wrong. And if you concluded that this year's team is a heavier hitting bunch, you're both right and wrong. Let's address each one in order. First,

Andrew Stetka: The future of Brian Roberts

The Orioles are going to have a couple of interesting decisions to make going into the offseason. I'm not for a second proclaiming the Birds out of the running for a postseason berth, but whether there is October baseball in Baltimore or not, the offseason will come about. The lineup seems pretty set for this team going into 2014. Aside from finding an everyday designated

Neal Shaffer: A tale of coming close

If given the choice, how would you want to fail? Failing miserably - which is to say not even being in the mix for whatever you're after - sucks. On balance, though, it's better than coming up just short. Failure itself is absolute. The final marker is always either "you did" or "you didn't." Within that construct, however, there exists a hierarchy. One that has

Zach Wilt: Make or break stretch ahead for O's

On Friday, I opened up my mailbox to see an envelope from the Orioles with my season ticket holder postseason order form. This was both exciting and nerve-racking as a guy who has experienced the many highs and lows of the 2013 season to date. I want my money to go toward more games this season, not a down payment for 2014. It's funny how

Domenic Vadala: Making adjustments at the right time

If the Orioles end up going to the postseason, Wednesday's victory over Tampa Bay might be looked back upon as one of the bigger wins of the year. First off, it goes without saying that the entire series was tough on the Orioles and on the fans. Dropping two of three to a team that you're chasing in the standings is never a favorable result.

Matthew Taylor: Rewritten history shouldn't be forgotten

Chris Davis has tied Jim Gentile for third on the Orioles' all-time single-season home run list. Barring injury or an unimaginable power outage, Davis will hit his 47th homer and push Gentile further down the list he once topped. This is familiar territory for Gentile, who established at least a half-dozen team records in 1961. The past half-century has been an extended exercise in removing

Andrew Stetka: These O's are better than last year's version despite what you may see

If there is one part of the 2013 Orioles that has been steady from the start, it's without question been defense. The O's are on pace to break records for both fielding percentage and fewest errors in a season. Of the three major elements in baseball - pitching, hitting and defense - the latter is the one part where there are simply no worries. It's

Neal Shaffer: Sky isn't falling, but O's need to step it up a notch

Anyone who has read even a handful of my work here or over at The Loss Column (where I'm not posting as much as I want to), knows that I'm bullish on the Orioles. Not optimistic per se, but certainly inclined to point out when the sky is not falling. I also do my best to be honest. Just because the sky's not falling doesn't

Zach Wilt: Baseball is a funny game

I'm sure you've heard people say "baseball is a funny game." It's typically the cliche saying that fans throw out when they can't explain the outcome of the three-hour sporting event they dedicate their life to over the course of 162 days between April and September. For me, that inexplicable nature is part of the reason I love this game so much. Though, I can

Matchbox Twenty's Kyle Cook joins MASNsports.com for special live video chat at 3:30 p.m.

What do you do if you're the lead guitarist of a touring rock band and you've got an off-date between stops in Mansfield, Mass., and Salisbury, Md., on a Monday in August? If you're Kyle Cook of Matchbox Twenty, you squeeze in a baseball game. And since Camden Yards is close to the Wicomico Civic Center, site of Tuesday's show with Goo Goo Dolls, Cook

Showing their heart, Orioles take on lead role for 30th annual Baltimore Heart Ball

A substantial amount of heart is a key ingredient in any baseball season. Teams have to have it to withstand the rigors of a six-month marathon. Fans have to have it - in abundance - to navigate the highs and lows of any campaign. Players need it, too, so they can ride the roller coaster of streaks and slumps but still prosper. So heart is

Domenic Vadala: Hoping for a repeat performance

I think it'll be a long time before people forget last August and September at the yard. I would submit that those games were about as much fun for Orioles fans as we've ever seen. Granted, that was only the third playoff season for the Birds since they moved into Camden Yards in 1992, but in both 1996 and 1997, there wasn't the potential for

Social Media Weekend wrap

While the Orioles got the series win over the Rockies, we gave fans their own chance to win. MASN's Social Media Weekend, styled by Hair Cuttery, gave our loyal fans opportunities to win through our different social media outlets. By following us on Twitter, Facebook, mobile and Instagram, fans at Camden Yards were given the chance to win seat upgrades and autographed gear. Before Saturday's

Matthew Taylor: Jim Johnson, meet Don Aase

The Orioles are coming off a demoralizing three-game sweep at the hands (actually, the bats) of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who won each game in walk-off fashion. I don't need to tell you that Jim Johnson recorded blown saves in the final two games of the series. Johnson currently ranks as the major league leader in both saves (39) and blown saves (nine). In the same

Andrew Stetka: The good, bad and ugly from O's West Coast swing

A whole lot will be written and even more will be said following the Orioles' recent 4-4 road trip to the West Coast. There was a whole lot that went down on the field that led to a 4-1 start to the swing but saw it finish with three devastating walk-off losses to the Diamondbacks in Arizona. Let this be a bit of a break

Oriole Bird meets his score-announcing cousin at Charlestown

Remember the cute little tale from a few weeks ago about the small plush Orioles mascot that alerts residents at the Charlestown retirement community in Catonsville about whether the O's win or lose? Well, the Charlestown bird had a visit today from its larger feathered namesake who usually roosts at Camden Yards. The Oriole Bird visited Charlestown as part of the kickoff for the "Swim

Neal Shaffer: There but for the grace of the baseball gods ...

Today, let's talk about a team. A team with more than a couple of young, All-Star-capable players and an overall talent level that grades out better than average. One with a decorated, veteran manager. They were very bad for a long time but they made a playoff run last year and, in doing so, laid the foundation for a strong future. We're talking, of course,

Zach Wilt: Who would start a wild card game for O's?

It's becoming increasingly more difficult to not compare the 2013 Orioles to their 2012 squad. I can't promise that I won't do this every week for the rest of this season. As of Aug. 13, the Orioles find themselves five games back of the first-place Red Sox in the AL East with their 65-53 record. On this date a season ago, the Orioles were also

Social Media Weekend wraps up on Sunday

One of the most wonderful times of the year starts Friday: Social Media Weekend. Thanks to our friends at Hair Cuttery, Social Media Weekend will begin Friday, Aug. 16. Fans will have the opportunity to win exclusive Orioles prizes and experiences. We have seen the loyalty that fans have shown us by tweeting us, interacting with us on Facebook and sharing pictures on Instagram. And

Domenic Vadala: Will Orioles make another move?

To say the least, a few waves were made around Birdland the other day when former Oriole Mark Reynolds was designated for assignment by Cleveland. A lot of fans felt that the Orioles should have looked to re-sign Reynolds, and the thought crossed my mind, as well. However, I'm not sure that Reynolds is precisely what the Orioles need right at this moment. We all

Matthew Taylor: Most bases on balls

Fans of plate discipline and on-base percentage, this blog post is for you. Today is the anniversary of Bobby Grich's record-setting ability to get on base without hitting the ball. Grich established a team record for walks in a game with five on Aug. 9, 1975. Grich ended the day 0-for-0 and scored three times, the most of any Orioles player that day, in a

Andrew Stetka: Machado's future in the field

When Manny Machado made his debut with the Orioles in 2012, many things changed. The callup from the minors for the then 20-year-old gave the team a much-needed boost in early August and helped push the O's to their first playoff berth in 15 years. The Birds were 60-51 prior to Machado's promotion, but went 33-18 afterwards. At the time, the move was made as

Neal Shaffer: Still too much negativity and complaining despite O's success

It's been going on all season, pretty much. Maybe not a lot during the first month, but full-swing since sometime in May. If you're on Twitter or you listen to sports talk radio, you know it. You might even be guilty yourself. "It," of course, is complaining. We're no stranger to complaining here in Baltimore. Prior to last year, we endured a solid decade of

Anthony Amobi: The next few weeks may make or break the Orioles

On Sundays, I usually have lunch with some friends before the game at one of the fine Baltimore establishments across the street from Camden Yards. Before this season, the topic of conversation would have centered on what the Ravens and the other teams in the NFL would be doing considering the Hall of Fame game (a preseason contest) was on yesterday. The topic only came

Domenic Vadala: Alomar worthy of joining O's Hall of Fame, but who's next?

This past weekend, we saw something that we see every year (generally in August), as the Orioles had their annual Hall of Fame induction. Every team has a Hall of Fame in some manner, and while getting elected to your team's hall might not be as prestigious as Cooperstown, it's quite an honor. Some people seemed to question the election of second baseman Roberto Alomar

MASN's "Touch 'Em All" Rewards Program continues with brand new prizes

Looking back on our first month of MASN's "Touch 'Em All" Orioles Rewards Program, we saw fans battle it out on social media. We've seen so many great tweets, Facebook shares, Instagram pictures and more. In July, we awarded five players with autographed Buck Showalter balls, with one participant being randomly selected to win an autographed Showalter jersey. This month, we're at it again. You

Delmarva's Marin keeps his focus on the present

SALISBURY, Md. - If the grind of his first full pro season is weighing on Single-A Delmarva shortstop Adrian Marin, he's hiding it well. Though back tightness has caused the 2012 third-round draft pick from playing in the Shorebirds' past five games, the 19-year-old Marin has certainly withstood the rigors of a longer campaign that frequently saps the energy and threatens the confidence of young

Andrew Stetka: O's make moves before deadline, but is it enough?

The pressure was on Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette over the past few weeks. A lot of trust has been placed in Duquette to help build a ballclub that will compete deep into October and have a chance at a World Series. The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone and after acquiring three pitchers in a month, Duquette has

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