The 2010 Orioles: Is the worst over?

There should be no doubt that the American League East remains the best division in baseball.

It's not an excuse, but playing so many division games early has been a factor in the Orioles poor start.

Not only have they played more games within the division than any other AL East team, they have played the most road games of any division squad.

AL East games played so far:
21 - Orioles
16 - Boston & Tampa Bay
12 - New York
9 - Toronto

Most road games played by AL East squads:
17 - Orioles
15 - New York
13 - Toronto and Tampa Bay
12 - Boston

The Rays and Yankees own the two best records in baseball. As of Friday, the division features four teams with over .500 records. There are four over .500 in the other two divisions combined and just a total of six in the entire National League.

The schedule early was just a bear, maybe the toughest of any team in baseball. They played 16 straight days to start the year, the first road trip was a West Coast swing that ended in Boston and then the 12 straight vs. New York and Boston.

Did the O's tick someone off at the American League office?

Guess what, starting June first they play nine straight vs. the Yankees and Boston. That should seem like a picnic compared to this recent run.

Maybe that saying 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' could end up being true here. Of course more than one O's fan may have wanted to jump off a bridge at 2-16.

The Orioles are now 6-5 over the last 11 games. It seems, say this quietly, that maybe the worst is over.

The starters continue to be solid and the bullpen has gotten better. The offense remains plain bad. There is no longer a misadventure every night, but 8-21 is a massive hole to try and dig out from.

Do you see the O's as having turned a bit of a corner now and are better times ahead?

Tomorrow: I hope to see some of you on Saturday in Aberdeen at the IronBirds' fan day known as IronFest. Activies run from 11 to 3 at Ripken Stadium. Around 1 p.m., I'll host a Q and A session with Cal Ripken Junior. See you there!

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