How ’bout them O’s

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Patrick Chaney ('15)sports an orioles tee in the class room. The orioles lost valuable players Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz after the 2013 season.

It’s almost that time of year again; the Orioles ready to dive into another successful baseball season. Some concerns have arisen about the loss of important players due to injury, ending contracts, etc.

Nick Markakis, who signed a 4-year contract with the Atlanta Braves, and Nelson Cruz, who signed a 4-year deal with the Seattle Mariners, are two of the biggest losses the Orioles will suffer this season. These two were both key players on last year’s team.

Finishing the season off with 40 homeruns, Nelson “Cruz Control” was a huge factor in generating offense in 2014. In multiple games, he single-handedly brought in enough RBIs to win. Some people think that without him, and Nick Markakis, who was our lead-off hitter after Brian Roberts left, the Orioles are in for a world of hurt.

“I would not discount the Orioles and what they were able to do or not able to do,” said former Orioles infielder and MLB Network analyst Billy Ripken in an interview with Stan “The Fan” Charles. “Look, Markakis left; Cruz left. I understand that. But gaining Wieters back hopefully for a full season, Machado back for a full season, is that a wash?”

Matt Wieters, a two-time All-Star, underwent a Tommy John surgery on his arm last year which put him out for around 9 months, but he should be back and ready to go. Last year, when Wieters was hurt, the Orioles brought Caleb Joseph up from the Minors who did the job, but it’s hard to measure up to Matt.

“I think Wieters is going to come off very weak, and have to build up to get to what he used to be,” said Jimmy Danielczyk (’19).

This is a concern that is to be expected; no one can be out for that long and fully maintain their game. However, Spring Training in Sarasota will bring Wieters back into the game.

It’s time to pull your orange out and watch the Orioles cruise through a good season (no pun intended!)