Reporting Jerry Coleman
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Spring Training is well underway in Sarasota, Florida for the Orioles. It may be still early, but the team is certainly trying to figure out how they can maintain the success from their 2012 season with an eye towards the future They will need to have some decisions to make with their pitchers and some position players. What should fans expect this season , after snapping out of 14 consecutive years of not playing in the postseason? Well, everyone in the clubhouse is anxious for the 2013 campaign to begin . We all witnessed Executive President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette and the Manager Buck Showalter turn the team completely around, and with those two men a part of this organization; it has certainly changed the mindset of the players and the culture of the team.
Why can’t the Orioles be a favorite to make the playoffs again, in 2013?
They will have Manny Machado for a full season, which will become more intriguing to watch. Nolan Reimold and Brian Roberts are back healthy, but just in case there are setbacks, the team does have plenty of players at camp in the outfield. This team also has a solid core of players which include catcher Matt Wieters, right fielder Nick Markakis, his “partner in crime” in Center fielder Adam Jones, Short stop J.J. Hardy and closer Jim Johnson. Those players are the nucleus of the franchise. They can assist and guide the younger players, while continuing to shine . With Brian Matusz fighting for a spot in the rotation the veterans can help him and make sure he takes the right steps for that. He seems to be doing that “Finding a routine as a starter, get everything going, fastball in and out, curveball, slider, change-up,” he said. “Right now, my focus is getting my fastball and changeup established. Breaking pitches are a little bit behind right now, curveball and slider aren’t there. Like I said, got the fastball and change-up going, the curveball and slider will work out.”
O’s center fielder Adam Jones, who is preparing to go off to the World Baseball Classic this weekend said, “You can’t predict anything in life. You can’t. So why try? People try continuously to predict things you can’t predict, so good luck with that.”
The “why not ?” attitude will be a part of this team and they will not be concerned with what everybody else is saying or predicting. If you’re not sold on them they just don’t seem to mind. In fact , proving to the world again that they can do it and belong as a staying power in the AL East is all the motivation required at this point .
Follow Jerry Coleman: @sportswcoleman