Bird Talk: World Series prediction, Lombardozzi trade, Clevenger returns home

Baseball is back.

Finally, all 30 major league clubs are playing meaningful baseball games.

And how nice of Mother Nature to cooperate with us.

The Orioles got their first win of the 2014 season on opening day, defeating the defending World Champions, the Boston Red Sox.

With all of the hype surrounding opening day, you may have missed some stories from other media outlets. Keep reading for more.

* Last week, I included a column from the New York Times' Tyler Kepner. His love for the Orioles has not stopped. In fact, Kepner believes the Orioles will be in the World Series this year. Kepner says the improvement of the Orioles pitching staff and lineup is what makes them a legitimate contender. Don't believe me? Click here.

* Late last week, the Orioles acquired infielder Steve Lombardozzi from the Detroit Tigers for infielder Alex Gonzalez. Lombardozzi was with the Nationals for the last few seasons. Lombardozzi can play second and third base, shortstop and left field. SI.com's Cliff Corcorran belives the Orioles are the clear winner of the trade. Lombardozzi is 25 and is very versatile, while Gonzalez is 37 and has played in only 65 games over the last two seasons.

* Lombardozzi is one of two players on the Orioles that are from the Baltimore area. Lombardozzi, a Fulton, Md., native, and Steve Clevenger of Glen Burnie, both grew up cheering for the Orioles. Lombardozzi and Clevenger have referred to the opportunity to play for their hometown team as a "dream." Click here for more reaction from both Lombardozzi and Clevenger.

* FOXsports.com released its preseason ranking list. While Kepner was very enthusiastic with his World Series prediction for the O's, FOX ranked the Birds No. 15 in its preseason power rankings. FOX wonders if the addition of Ubaldo Jimenez will be enough for the Birds to finish higher than third in the American League East.

* Finally, Monday marked the first opening day since Monica Barlow's passing. Barlow's seat in the press box will remain empty for the entire 2014 season. In case you missed it, here is the video tribute the Orioles had for Barlow prior to the game.

That's a wrap of this week's Bird Talk. Don't forget to check MASNsports.com daily for complete Orioles coverage.

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