DETROIT-- After going 44-44 in the first half, the Orioles opened the second half of the season Friday night with a pivotal three-city road trip that could go a long way in determining Baltimore's season. Just don't expect O's manager Buck Showalter to say it.
"If I did [think this road trip was particularly important], I wouldn't talk about it publicly," Showalter said of his club, which follows a weekend series against the Tigers with three-game visits to the Yankees and Rays.
The Orioles went 3-10 in the two weeks before the All-Star break and entered the day four games out in the American League East.
"Our guys know what's ahead of them. I'm very proud of what they've done to stay engaged in the competition. Some good things happened the first 88 games, and I try to get them to dwell on that. We live in a world constantly reminding you of your failures. That's just part of the world they live in. I think they understand the answers to being competitive are in our locker room. They aren't looking at anyone, but the person standing beside them."
Still, July 31's Trade Deadline is approaching, and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has already said he expects to be active in trade talks. The next two weeks could go a long way in determining which teams are willing to part with their players.
"I can't speak for other clubs. I know where we are with it," Showalter said of the Deadline. "The only time one week is that important is when you are playing the last week of the season. You don't look at increments like that. You grind like heck for the three hours you are here and you live with the results.
"I have a lot of confidence we are going to be as good as we are capable of being. Simple as that. That's the only way I and we want to feel. There's nothing that I want that the players don't want. Or the fans. I'm as curious as you are to see if we can make it happen again."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.