Orioles finalize 25-man roster
Bauer to pen; Dubose & Nivar to AAA (www.theorioles.com)
Remember those horrible commercials about the new birds that flew into town and the 108 homers they hit in 2003??? We got 80 of em in 2004. This year we add Sosa and the combined homer total for 2004 was only 115. I don't think we will be seeing graphical home run totals in commercials this year.
The Orioles have improved their offense yet again this year and its not all the front offices doing. A healthy Matos and Gibbons are what will round out the offense and give the team the 1-9 productivity and consistancy it needs if the Orioles wish to contend this year.
Now I would be dreaming if I thought the Orioles were going to take the division, but with a healthy, productive offense it is within reason they could run for the wild card. The Orioles are real close. Team chemisty and a true leader in the clubhouse will only help their cause.
Remember those stupid commercials about the baby birds from 2003? Well guess what? They are growing up fast! The experiment in youth was a utter failure for the Orioles. Atleast, back then it was. With the 2 years of experience they have since had under their belt, these "kids" are just now coming into their primes. Look for breakout years from Bigbie, Matos, Gibbons, Cabrera and Bedard. All the talk may be about the big 4 but there are 9 guys that take the field and all the bats look mighty fat. Look for Julio to be the premier right handed setup man in 2005. Less pressure will result in an improved slider and less anxiety for fans (and coaches).
Look for Mazz to be more comfortable in his role as skipper as well. With Miller able to work with the staff early and often, alot of the weight Mazz carried around with a reckless and distracted pitching staff.
Overall I project the Orioles to win 85-90 games this year. Yes thats over .500 for the first time in 8 years. You heard it here folks. Don't say I didnt warn ya!