It's practically over before start

Al East Predictions

Orioles Preview

April 05, 2009|By RICK MAESE

It's a mystery why the NFL is talking about an 18-game season and yet the Orioles are content playing 162. If the Orioles could somehow convince the commissioner's office that the baseball season should expire in mid-April, you would have to like their chances a lot more. As it is, the season won't end until the first week of October, and the Orioles' playoff hopes will die this first week of April.

The team's lack of pitching depth usually catches up to it by June. This year, it should catch up to it on the second or third day of the season. By season's end, the Orioles could have 100 losses in the standings and 100 fans in the stands. With 54 games scheduled against the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays, it will be a long year unless you're looking for something besides W's.

Yes, it seems that we say this every year, but this season success should be judged by the development of young talent. Only a masochist wants to count wins and losses with this team. So these first couple of months, keep an eye on Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. In August and September, see which of the prospects has found his way to the big league roster. It's a sneak peak at 2010 and beyond.

And believe me, you'll want to look beyond 2009. If any history is made at Camden Yards, it'll be the kind your buddies tease you about for years to come.

AL East

1. Yankees

2. Red Sox

3. Rays

4. Blue Jays

5. Orioles

al east predictions

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