It’s June and the Orioles are in first place. Baltimore would feel a lot better about this fact if it weren’t appended by about three footnotes. It’s only been June for 12 hours.
And that first-place position? A dead tie with Tampa Bay and everyone else in the AL East within a 3-game striking distance. In fact, in another twelve hours, after the Orioles finish the opening game of a series in Tampa, the Birds could be in second place. The final footnote to the mind-boggling first place in June statement is that the O’s have lost five in a row and eight of their last ten. The wheels certainly aren’t off the wagon by any means, but for the first time in this hopeful 2012 season, they are wobbling.
Is the cause for panic legitimate, or is this just the residue of a 14-year old culture of losing expectations? Has the culture of the team and around it changed enough to weather their precarious position?