Can Orioles emulate the Rays?

Can Orioles emulate the Rays?
January 15, 2014, 4:00 pm
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Hall of Fame voter Mark Zuckerman on the 2014 class

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

In five of the last six seasons, the Tampa Bay Rays have won 90 games or more. They’re a team the Orioles would like to emulate.

The Rays have been built on excellent starting pitching, something the Orioles are trying to do, too.

Despite some thought they would trade David Price, Tampa Bay has kept the star left-hander who is still two years away from free agency. The Rays don’t believe they’ll be able to afford him, but Price enjoys playing for Joe Maddon.

Tampa Bay has some other good starters, Matt Moore, Chris Archer, Jeremy Cobb and Jeremy Hellickson. They have a good bullpen, too even though closer Fernando Rodney left for free agency. (He has yet to sign.)

Some of the familiar names are back. Evan Longoria, James Loney, Jose Molina and Ben Zobrist. Zobrist feasts on the Orioles. Last year, he hit .329 against them.

Rookie of the year Wil Myers (13 home runs, 53 RBIs) is here for his first complete season.

The Orioles certainly admire the Rays’ approach, and hope they’ll be able to copy their success.

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With more than two months until Opening Day, the Rays and Red Sox look to be the most formidable teams in the American League East.

NOTE: Vouchers for autograph sessions at FanFest will go on sale Saturday at 10 am. FanFest will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center on Feb. 1 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

The list of autograph session times and participants will be online at www.orioles.com/fanfest by 9 p.m. this Friday.
Children between 4-14 will have a designated area for free autographs and others may purchase vouchers for $20 each at www.orioles.com/fanfest.

All proceeds will go to charity.