It was another long year in the basement for the Orioles and their fans in 2012. Since winning the AL East in 1997, Baltimore has finished either second from the bottom or last in 15 of the last 16 years, compiling a 1052-1376 record (.433 Winning Pct) over that time period. Its a minor miracle that lifelong fan and manager ryalaman hasn't jumped off a building yet. This year's edition of the Orioles probably won't be a playoff contender but there are hopes for the faithful that the building blocks for a future will start to emerge. Opening Day Lineup:1. RF Nick Markakis 2. C Matt Wieters3. 1B Joe Mahoney4. DH Chris Davis5. CF Adam Jones6. 3B Brandon Inge7. 2B Ryan Flaherty8. SS JJ Hardy9. LF Marc Krauss The Orioles offense will be led by Adam Jones who had a great 2012 campaign leading the team in almost every offense category. Even better for Baltimore fans is that Jones agreed to a 4 year extension totalling 33.6 million. Ryan Flaherty, who led the team in OBP last year, and Chris Nelson will split the second base duties replacing popular long time Oriole Brian Roberts who was traded to Detroit. The other platoon this year will be in left as Marc Krauss who was acquired in a rule 5 draft day trade will share time with veteran OF Reggie Willits. Other newcomers are longtime Tiger Brandon Inge and rookie 1B Joe Mahoney who excelled in both Double A Bowie Bay and Triple A Norfolk last year. The real key to the Baltimore offense this year will be if mainstays Markakis, Weiters, Davis and Hardy can return to form after having off years in 2012. Pitching StaffStarters:LH Zack BrittonLH Brian Matusz LH Wei-Yin ChenRH Jake ArrietaLH Tsuyoshi Wada Bullpen:RH Daniel KleinRH Takashi SaitoLH Troy PattonRH Pedro StropRH Kyle FansworthRH Jim Johnson Wei-Yin Chen returns to the Orioles after spending a couple of months in the Windy City with the Cubs. Chen was was the team's most consistent starter last year and will look to build on that success this season. Britton, Matusz and Arrieta have always had the potential to be upper echelons starters in the league. While all 3 have shown flashes of that tantalizing ability, none of them have been able to perform consistently. Wada had a disappointing first season with Baltimore, he has the ability to be a solid 5th starter. Jim Johnson established himself as one of the better closers in baseball last year recording 32 saves. The rest of the Oriole pen is solid and features a good mix of veterans and younger players. Farm System:The crown jewel in the farm system is last year's #1 overall pick 3BCarlos Castello who dominated A Ball before struggling somewhat in Double A. Castello has the potential to be one of the best players in the game and Oriole fans are chomping at the bit to see him up with the big club sooner then later. Raul Montemayor is the team's top pitching prospect and while he doesn't seem to have ace potential he can turn out to be a very solid #2. Outlook:Sadly I don't see the Orioles getting out of the AL East basement this year and I predict a 71 win season, which is a solid 9 game improvement over last year.