Maybe Orioles were born to be wild: Losing three games in a row in New York has changed the vocabulary surrounding the Orioles, with fans and commentators suddenly wondering aloud if this team should be focusing on the second wild card rather than defending their 2014 division title.

That's a strange concept because, presumably, the Orioles should be going about their business the same way regardless of which postseason berth might be in their future. They are a few games closer to the second wild card than first place in the American League East right now, but they still need to address their weaknesses to be a strong playoff contender down the stretch.


Nearly all of the teams looking up at first place in the AL are in about the same situation as the Orioles as it relates to the wild-card race, so it will take more than maintaining the competitive status quo to outrun them.

In other words, if the Orioles aren't going to cash in their chips at the trade deadline, they might as well keep their eyes on the real prize.

Give Reimold a chance: The Orioles gave Chris Parmelee a very extended audition at first base to determine if he could add some more offensive pop to their inconsistent offense. They also have played Travis Snider regularly and got just three home runs and 20 RBIs out of his first 197 at-bats.

So, before there is any more discussion about who is and isn't expendable the next time the Orioles need a roster spot, the club should give Nolan Reimold an extended opportunity to see if he can deliver on the offensive potential he exhibited before he had a big chunk of his early career consumed by injuries.

Maybe there isn't anything there and maybe he won't stay healthy, but — after all this time — the Orioles owe it to themselves to find out.

Jimenez needs to trust his stuff: The most frustrating thing about watching Ubaldo Jimenez struggle so badly Thursday was how obvious it was that he let the New York Yankees get into his head in the first inning.

He clearly became too concerned with the possibility that leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury might steal second base after opening the first inning with a single. Two walks later, the bases were loaded and the Yankees were soon on their way to a series-sweeping victory.

Not that soon, however. Jimenez got past dangerous Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran without a run scoring before teeing up his first pitch to Chase Headley, who launched a long three-run double to put the Yankees ahead for good. Hard to say whether he let up after getting past the heart of the Yankees order, but it sure looked that way.


Read more from columnist Peter Schmuck on his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.

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