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Brittany Ghiroli Says Orioles Are Not A Playoff Team

Brittany is the Baltimore Orioles beat reporter for

Brittany joined Steve and Ken to talk about the continued struggles of the Orioles after being swept by the Rangers over the weekend.

Ken asked Brittany about the level of frustration within the clubhouse during the Orioles recent skid. Brittany noted that, "I can't put my finger on why that is. I certainly don't think that they expect to lose, but I think the losses of Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis in that club house are just felt everywhere. People don't realize it's not just their on-field production. I think that having them to keep these guys steady and have them not panic during these rough stretches because let's face it, there's always tough stretches for every team, even the teams that win the division. I just think that the loss of them cannot be overstated."

Steve asks about if the team's frustration on the loss of players like Markakis and Cruz and not replacing them on the roster has led to their poor performance this season. Brittany says that she thinks it's been like that since spring training, "What people don't realize is they let go of Delmon Young who was very popular in there and was a professional hitter. Some of the guys were talking to me about this the other day, you look in that clubhouse and tell me who is a professional, veteran hitter in that clubhouse? Veteran in my book is about 5 full seasons in the major leagues. Who do they have, outside of Adam Jones? Nobody. There's just nobody with any kind of major league experience and veteran presence, like I said to keep everybody from panicking. They don't realize how many guys Nick Markakis kept in line. Not because he was a vocal guy, but because of the way he was. Same thing for Nelson Cruz. You can't try to replace those guys with 2 or 3 other guys, Travis Snider's or David Lough's and it's going to be okay, because if you add these 2 guys together, their production lines, equals what you think Nelson Cruz or Nick Markakis is going to do. It just doesn't work that way and the Orioles are finding out first hand."

Britt goes on to say, "I don't think they're quite as bad as they played on that road trip. I think people need to realize that this isn't the same team that won the division by 12 games last year, they're not 11 games out. They're somewhere in the middle. What you see with a lot of teams around this time of year is they spiral and then they kind of have almost a grieving period for lack of a better word and then they kind of even out. I don't know if the Orioles are going to even out and play a little bit more to their level. This team, the way they've been going right now, and I know we've talked all year 'about are they a playoff team? are they not a playoff team?' They're not a playoff team. They're 5.5 games back, they've got a really tough schedule. They're not a playoff team and people need to realize that."

Steve asked Brittany about how much hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh is to blame for the Orioles struggles offensively and whether he might be on the hot seat. Brittany doesn't believe Coolbaugh is to blame for the struggles because our lineup is filled with hitters who have high strike out rates and there is a lack of players with a proven track record as good veteran hitters. "There isn't any talk about firing him at all. If you ask me the whole team has been awful. The starting rotation has been horrible, especially over the last 11 games pitching to a 6.47 ERA. We don't have that one pitcher that can dominate and give you a great start during difficult stretches."

Brittany went on to discuss whether the Orioles will make any moves ahead of the waiver trade deadline today, pitchers who might be able to help out the starting rotation, and how big of an impact the recent run of losses has had on both play on the field and moral in the clubhouse.

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