Opening Day has come and gone, now it’s time to start worrying. How can this team pick up on last year’s winning and carry it on over the next six months? Will the pitching really hold up? While everyone inside the organization guarantees that we’ll still have a pennant race to worry about come September, fans want answers now.
They want an early look at what this team can and can’t do. That’s why there is such a demand for MASN to start showing more, if not all, of the Orioles’ Spring Training games. But Spring Training is never a sufficient fortune-teller. So what is there early in the season that can give us some insight as to what this team can really do in 2013?
On April 16, just two weeks removed from the season opener in St. Petersburg, the Orioles are set to embark on a string of twenty consecutive games; no off days. That includes a cross-country trip which accounts for eleven of the twenty games.
The team will start this stretch at home with three games against the Rays, followed by a weekend series which will bring the Dodgers to Charm City. After that comes three more home games against a revamped Blue Jays team, a series which concludes with a matinee on Wednesday the 24th. After that game ends, it’s time to hop on a plane and go west.
First, four games against the reigning AL West champion Athletics. Then, three in Seattle against the Mariners, who made some nice additions over the off-season. Finally, the stretch comes to a close with four games against the Angels, which means a heavy dose of Pujols, Hamilton, and Trout.
Not too bad, right?
It’s safe to say that the make-up and toughness of this team will be on display early, for better or for worse. If they can get through those three weeks without a roster and winning record intact, it will be nothing short of miraculous.
By the time the stretch ends on May 6 and the birds come home to face Billy Butler and the Royals, this team will have already been on an identity-seeking journey to the d-epths of the American League. When they come out from the twenty games of uninterrupted baseball, we will have found out a lot about this team as well.
Will last year’s “stay hungry” mentality be applicable to this year’s club?
There is no predicting wins or injuries for those three weeks, but the team needs to come off it relatively unscathed. Nonetheless, if you’re interested in a quick answer to some of the biggest questions surrounding this year’s team, refer to this three-week microcosm of what the 2013 Baltimore Orioles are really made of.