ESPN's Olney: Orioles are the AL East's most intriguing team

February 11, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Looking ahead to the 2011 season, ESPN's Buster Olney thinks your Baltimore Orioles are the most intriguing team in the AL East, which is significant considering the Red Sox overhaul, the Yankees' Cliff-Lee-less rotation and the changes in Tampa Bay.

I linked up to this in my Friday Coffee Companion post, but let's discuss it a little here.

"[The Orioles] haven’t made the playoffs in 13 years, but they’ve made some very strong additions to their lineup between Mark Reynolds and Vladimir Guerrero," Olney said in this video.

It appears the additions of Reynolds, Guerrero, Derrek Lee and J.J. Hardy have someone all worked up because Olney mentioned an Orioles source who compared the Orioles lineup to the high-powered Yankees.

"On the day that they signed Guerrero, one member of the organization jotted down and said, ‘You know what? That looks like a Yankee lineup,'" Olney somehow said without smiling.

A Yankee lineup? I don't know about all that. The Orioles have no Alex Rodriguez. They have no Mark Teixeia. They have no Robinson Cano. But the Orioles do finally have a complete lineup, one that can be pretty potent if Guerrero and Lee fend off Father Time, Reynolds knocks 30-plus homers out of the ballpark and Adam Jones and Matt Wieters continue to progress.

"I don’t they have enough pitching to contend," he said. "But they are going to be an interesting team to watch."

Agreed on that last part, Buster.

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