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Ruthless Rewind: Bring out the paper bags

So much for an Orioles resurgence in 2010. OK, it's still too soon to write off this squad, but Baltimore clearly has already. Thankfully, Ravens season is on the horizon.

[1] It's never a good sign when fans bust out the paper bags (right, photo by The Baltimore Sun) during the season's first homestand, but leave it to the Orioles to set the bar at a new low. The struggling O's lost six straight games at Camden Yards, which on Monday night set an all-time attendance low (9,129). Some of the games were close enough to set desperate fans up for stomach-punch losses, but Wednesday's 9-1 loss to the Rays was just plain ugly. O's hitters aren't hitting, the bullpen has been brutal and manager Dave Trembley is on the hot seat. Orioles magic? More like Orioles tragic.

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[2] Embattled O's closer Michael Gonzalez was placed on the 15-day DL with a sore shoulder. He told Trembley the injury is new, and the O's have to take his word for it, but you can't help but wonder if Gonzo's injury — and not a case of strained confidence — was to blame for his two blown saves.

[3] Believe it or not, there can still be positives when you start the season like the O's have. How about Jason Berken? He looked overmatched as a starter a year ago, but he's been excellent out of the bullpen so far. He pitched five strong innings Wednesday, allowing one run and three hits.

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[4] Orioles starter Brian Matusz was awesome Tuesday night, striking out eight and pitching seven shutout innings before the wheels came off in the eighth. The bullpen couldn't bail Matusz out in the 8-6 loss to the Rays, but the kid showed he's got the goods and makeup to be dominant.

[5] WR Derrick Mason said he will still be a big part of the Ravens' offense. "Just because you go and buy a new pair of pants, do you go away from that favorite pair of pants?" he asked. "No, you don't, because you know that favorite pair of pants is going to work for you each time." Yeah, what he said.

[6] At the Ravens' pre-draft luncheon on Tuesday, director of player personnel Eric DeCosta said the Ravens, who have five picks, would consider trading down to pick up more. There are no certainties entering the draft, though — except that they'll pick some guys who play like Ravens.

[7] The Caps have begun their quest for  the Stanley Cup. They'll easily handle the Canadiens in Round 1, but how far they go after that will depend on defense and goaltending. We know the Caps can score, but to win the Cup, they actually have to keep the puck out of their own net.

Matt Vensel is a content creator for b. Follow him on Twitter, @mattvensel.

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