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We don’t want to think about it.
Only the most negative people on the planet would go there.

And yet, history keeps smacking us behind the head and making us turn around, like a playground bully - except we get to keep our milk money.

The Orioles were 11-7 last season. You can look it up. They swept Toronto at home, with Chris Ray, Adam Loewen and Steve Trachsel getting the wins. They were going to shock the world. Sam Perlozzo would be named Manager of the Year. Cooperstown would open a separate wing for umpire attendants, and Ernie Tyler would be the first inductee. Albert Belle would be invited back to throw the ceremonial first tantrum.
It was all good. And then it wasn’t.

The Orioles were swept at home in separate two-game series against Oakland and Boston. They lost two of three in Cleveland and were swept in Detroit. Nine losses in 10 games.

They reached .500 twice more – 18-18 and 27-27 - but we know the rest.

Now fast-forward to the 2008 season. The Orioles were 11-7 before losing their last two games. It’s a different team, for sure, and a different season. But they’re also playing 17 of 20 games on the road, with cross-country flights to Seattle and Los Angeles. Once the trip is over and they can finally unpack, they get Boston for two games.

What kind of luck is this? Did someone bury one of Jeffrey Maier's truancy notes under Camden Yards?

So what exactly are you feeling at the moment? From the little bit you’ve learned about this team after six weeks of spring training and 20 games of the regular season, can they avoid the kind of skid that left them in the AL East ditch last year?

And does it really matter in the grand scheme of things, since this club is supposed to be rebuilding?

Erik Bedard isn't around to be "the stopper," but Jeremy Guthrie deserved a win last night. The bullpen includes a Rule 5 pick, a few other kids who aren't proven major leaguers and Greg Aquino, who must demonstrate that he can be trusted in tight late-inning situations. But at least they're not gassed yet. And they're all available to pitch when needed.

One more clutch hit last night and the Orioles might be 12-8. That's baseball. 
So is comparing one season to the next, and wondering if history is going to repeat itself. 
And wondering if it even matters.

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