Sunday, February 22, 2015

Something to Warm-up My Thoughts: Orioles Update

Ed Smith Stadium
Sarasota, FL
Stuck in a frozen snowbank that is generally called the mid-Atlantic Region of the United States, it has been hard to remember that Spring Training has started in Florida and Arizona for the upcoming Major League Baseball season. 

It is a pleasant respite to the frigid weather, snow, and ice that I face right outside my door. 

But just about 985 driving miles away in Sarasota, Florida, where the temperature yesterday topped out at 75 degrees with 78 the expected high today, the Orioles are gathering and preparing for the season.

Here are some of the highlights.

First, the baseball glove that was used to give Derek Jeter a homer in 1996 and defeat the Orioles in the playoffs on an incredibly controversial and poorly umpired play that shall live in infamy forever has been sold at auction for $22,705. 

Second and beyond, the Orioles are still getting the team together. About five players are finalizing contracts or lost arbitration hearings and preparing to arrive at the facility. 

According to Roch KubatkoThe Orioles have 14 pitchers throwing in the bullpen today, six more than yesterday.

Also as reported by Roch:

Manager Buck Showalter shared some observations from today's bullpen sessions, including how new left-hander Wesley Wright is effective because of the way he hides the ball behind his back during his delivery.

Reliever Darren O'Day will be brought along slower than other pitchers in camp because, as Showalter quipped, "He's going to make the team."

Left-hander Brian Matusz will be stretched out again in camp so he can work on his changeup.

Ubaldo Jimenez has been "very engaged" in camp, according to Showalter. "He's got a little burn."

And of course, it goes without saying that every Orioles fan is watching the progress of all-star catcher Matt Wieters and his return from surgery. 

Baseball is back and at least the thought of it makes me feel warmer. and maybe the snow will melt faster.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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