In last week’s Five for Friday post, I half-filled my coffee mug with orange Kool-Aid, listing five reasons to be optimistic about the
I apologize in advance for being a Debbie Downer, but it's only fair that I present the flip side of things after listing potential positives last week. The Orioles upgraded their roster on paper in the offseason with a couple of trades and a few low-risk free-agent signings. But as we have seen too often over the past 13 years, what looks to be a good team on paper can get shredded by injuries, ineptitude and perhaps some sort of curse.
So let's look at the five biggest reasons to be pessimistic about the Orioles' chances in 2011 (remember, I listed reasons for optimism last week, so drink down this Haterade with a slice of lime and a few grains of salt):
5. The King of the Ks: Reporters have said that new Orioles third baseman
4. The starting five: Many baseball insiders have said that though the Orioles have a competitive lineup, pitching will be the team’s downfall this season, and
3. The dreaded injury bug: The Orioles have already been bitten by this pesky, little guy down in Sarasota. Second baseman
2. Brian Roberts' bad back: I know I listed Roberts in the previous item, but his health is so critical to the Orioles' chances that it deserves extra attention. This spring, we heard that his stiff neck was no big deal, and then we heard it again about the back issue that has sidelined him this week. But given that a herniated disk limited Roberts to 59 games last season and that the Orioles offense was a train wreck in his absence, it's only natural to be concerned about his health. The lineup will be nowhere near as potent without him.