The All-Star Break is a perfect time to check in with my Orioles Magic 8-Ball to see whether it's still speaking the same language that it was prior to the season.
Here's a review of my thoughts and predictions for the Birds in 2009 along with the appropriate Magic 8-Ball responses.
Did see it coming: Matt Wieters promotion to the big club early in the season and lots of associated hype.
Didn't see it coming: Brad Bergesen operating under the radar but still becoming an honest-to-goodness Rookie-of-the-Year candidate. Bergesen is 6-3 at the break with a 3.54 ERA and 10 quality starts in 16 games pitched.
Magic 8-Ball says: "Outlook Good."
Did see it coming: A log-jam in left field including the likes of Felix Pie, Lou Montanez, Ryan Freel, and Luke Scott.
Didn't see it coming: Nolan Reimold taking over the spot, earning June Rookie of the Month honors, and entering the Rookie-of-the-Year conversation before a recent slump.
Magic 8-Ball says: "Cannot Predict Now."
Did see it coming: Lots of at-bats in the designated-hitter spot for Luke Scott. At the break Scott has 180 at-bats and 203 plate appearances as the O's DH.
Didn't see it coming: What Scott has done with those at-bats: .305, 18 HR, 51 RBI, .976 OPS, AL Player of the Week in June after homering in four straight games, seven RBIs against Seattle in July.
Magic 8-Ball says: "It is Decidedly So."
Did see it coming: A scuffling O's rotation.
Didn't see it coming: Jeremy Guthrie's 5.35 ERA.
Magic 8-Ball says: "Outlook Not So Good."
Did see it coming: Adam Jones taking the next step toward becoming a legitimate star.
Didn't see it coming: That there would be an "All" next to the "Star" this season.
Magic 8-Ball response: "It Is Certain."
Did see it coming: A win total in the low-to-mid 70s and a run at the Blue Jays for fourth place.
The Birds (currently 40-48; 36-45 at the season's midway point) are on pace to win 70 or more games and are within shouting distance of the Jays.
Magic 8-Ball Says: "Ask Again Later."