Friday, August 13, 2010
... and Now the Real Test
After 10 games, Buck Showalter has passed his audition as Baltimore Orioles' manager. With an 8-2 record and generally solid performances from his starting pitchers, the team is playing much more in the manner they were expected to perform at the start of the season. Also benefiting the Orioles is the return of 2nd baseman Brian Roberts, whose roll as leadoff batter sets up the rest of the lineup to score important runs and in the field provides some veteran leadership.
The Orioles now travel to St. Petersburg, Florida to play the Tampa Bay Rays, a team in hot contention for 1st place with the Yankees and the leaders in the wild card chase. The Orioles are 2-7 against the Rays this year, four of those losses by two runs or less.
To win the series in Florida this weekend would be a tremendous victory for a team looking to find its new direction and show once and all the lackadaisical days of the Trembley years are gone. They are playing for a manager set on winning and not a guidance counselor now.
Making things more interesting, the Saturday game at 4:00 pm will be a national telecast on Fox. What an ideal opportunity to show the nation, the O's are on the comeback.