* Paul White of USA Today says the Orioles lead the parade of baseball’s early-season surprises:
“The shock value of the current standings varies by city. Nothing is more stunning than Baltimore topping the majors in home runs and leading the rugged AL East; they’ve built that lead by winning at least one series from every other team in the division.
“’I feel like it’s more of a professional locker room,” Catcher Matt Wieters says. “I think that’s the main thing that’s helped us maintain winning streaks a little bit longer.”
* YahooSports.com's Jeff Passan says Orioles center fielder Adam Jones "would be the MVP of the American League today."
His Baltimore Orioles own the AL's best record in large part because of their major league-best 64 home runs. Jones has 14, second in the big leagues only to Hamilton, and the power is very real.
Jones does have his faults. He doesn't walk. His center field defense is inconsistent. But at 26, there's a very good case to be made that Jones simply is growing into his prime. Even if he's not Matt Kemp, Jones can play a reasonable facsimile, which makes this one cake.
* Reuters' Team Report lauds the scrappy, never-say-die attitude of the Orioles thus far:
“Even when they seemed completely overmatched in the latter half of Sunday’s series finale in Washington, the Orioles weren’t done.
“Trailing by six heading into the ninth, the Orioles loaded the bases with one out before pinch-hitter Nick Johnson grounded into a double play as the National salvaged one win from their regional rivals.
“The Orioles already have more wins this season in games in which they trailed after seven innings than they did all last year. Their 27 homers in the seventh inning or later are tops in the majors.”
* Grant Brisbee of SB Nation says the Orioles are Exhibit A of “the freakish parity in the American League East.”
“You’re sick of hearing that the AL East is the best division in baseball.. . It’s worse now. It’s even worse. The AL East used to be tough, even when the Orioles were sitting in a corner with a bucket over their heads and hitting the bucket with a wooden spoon and yelling into the bucket so they could hear their own voice reverberate off the bucket before they’d hit it with a wooden spoon again. Things are different now. Every team in the division is playing well.”