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New logo, new era

It’s 2012 and the Baltimore Orioles haven’t seen the playoffs since 1997, but I think it’s about time that trend changes.  The Orioles have been one of the laughing stocks of MLB since Cal Ripkin, Jr. retired in 2001 that could be mentioned in the same sentence with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos.  That is definitely not the company you want to be in when it comes to baseball franchises, let alone sports franchises.

When you take into consideration that the Orioles are in the “toughest” division in baseball, the American League East, where they have to play the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, and Toronto Blue Jays (who haven’t been great either).  Just knowing that they have to play those teams about 18 times each makes the season a stretch for any team, but when you haven’t been the most talented team it only hurts.

The Orioles have been a young team in flux since the hiring of Buck Showalter at manager in late 2010.  They went on a run at the end of that season and finished strong.  The 2011 season started off fast, but quickly turned into a typical Orioles season as they finished 69-93.  The high point of the season was when they knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs with a big win at the end of the season.

The 2012 Orioles boast a young, but talented pitching rotation with Jake Arrieta leading the way.  They also have a good amount of positional players with Nick Markakis and Adam Jones in the outfield, as well as Matt Wieters, Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy in the infield.

I’m a fan who speaks the facts, yet has a strong opinion on my feelings.  The Orioles have been a bad baseball team for so many years, but I think they can change that this season especially with the new playoff rules added.  An extra wildcard team has been added to each league’s post-season and the two wildcard teams will now have a one-game playoff to see who advances.

The Orioles have a great team that’s very talented and have a great chance to make a run this season.  I’m excited to see what happens, especially after an opening day victory led by Arrieta and Markakis.  Last season they started fast, so it’s only so much that can read into it, but I think they can surprise the world like the “Florida” Marlins did in 2003.  We’ll just all have to wait and see what happens in the LONG Major League Baseball season.