Spitballin' By Jim Meyer
5 Orioles Facts and 5 Orioles Fictions

Fact: Despite all the injuries and inconsistencies, the Orioles are in first place. If you had told me at the beginning of the season that Matt Wieters’ season would end in May, that 88 games into the season, J.J.

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U.S. AND A!

Thirty-two of the Earth's 196 nations—nearly 16 percent—are gripped with World Cup Fever and finally it appears American immunity to the round-ball plague is waning. I'm a sports fan and soccer has a lot in common with sports, so I thought I'd take a timid step into the world of no-hands football.

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It's hard not to be intimidated by a guy who taught himself to fight by punching down trees.

If City Paper were a shed, I'd be one of the duller tools, maybe the bowling ball to Van Smith's hedge shears or the stack of pancakes to the Mr. Wrong whirligig, but I have picked up a few tricks along the way. For instance, when interviewing one of the most powerful human warriors on the planet, I found it best to defuse the situation.

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With just one signing, Dan Duquette and Peter Angelos rewrote the Orioles off season playbook.

Hey Spring, thanks for coming. I don't want to sound like an ass-hat or anything, but your brother Winter was a royal douche this year. I hope you're planning something nice. The Orioles? You bring the Orioles every year. You added free agents this go-round? Like, 75-year-old retreaded also-rans, right?

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The Greatest Show on One Wheel

The NCAA Championships are this weekend, and my bracket isn't looking so hot. Looking back, I am not sure why I picked Coastal Carolina over Lincoln Tech in the finals. Here's a little hard-won wisdom in bracketology for you: No matter how much you think the selection committee dropped the ball leaving out the Bartender's Academy, never go with a write-in.

It's for the best anyway.

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It is seriously hard to get excited for the season when the most interesting move the club has made was backing out of a botched bullpen signing.

Orioles spring training opens next week, and I for one would not want to hear Chuck Thompson's assessment of the beer temperature in Baltimore. Baseball's offseason is known as the Hot Stove League, but for Baltimore fans it's been more of a hot mess.

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