Baltimore Orioles: Home opener against an old foe


Buck Showalter’s not the type of guy who appreciates outside drama seeping into things. And I respect that because I’m the same way. So it goes without saying that he couldn’t have been too thrilled last year when Toronto tried to rain on the parade of the Baltimore Orioles by attempting to drag them into a beanball war during their division-clinching series. Then came this past off season with the theatrics involving Dan Duquette…to say the least, one might think that Toronto has a target on the Orioles.

Obviously, we can’t know for sure what’s going through the minds of Toronto or their players. However that all adds an interesting storyline to this afternoon’s home opener at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Regardless of what the players might be thinking, I know that I’ve had fans tweeting at me all winter saying that they couldn’t wait to get their first crack at Toronto this season. That opportunity comes today.

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However the Orioles can’t let any of that outside noise enter their minds once they take the field today or at all this weekend. What happened with Duquette was unfortunate, and yes it definitely added an element of uneccesary drama to the off season. (And let’s be clear, that problem was caused by Toronto, not the O’s.) However if any of that enters the players’ mindsets today, this weekend, or at all this season, things might not be quite as rosy as they were last year.

Let’s also keep in mind that due to the proximity between Sarasota and Dunedin, these teams met quite frequently during spring training. So it’s not as if they haven’t seen each other. Needless to say however, the O’s need to focus on the pre-game ceremonies, and then the game – nothing else.

Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Those pre-game ceremonies incidentally will include a celebration of the Orioles’ first AL East division championship since 1997. Once that’s concluded and the players collect their hardware from last year’s awards, it’ll be time to play ball – at just after 3 PM this afternoon. Bud Norris gets the ball in the home opener this season for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Mark Buerhle.

There is a threat of rain for this afternoon, however I’m not aware of any contingency plans in place. Obviously you’d like to get the game in without a delay or anything along those lines, however it’s unclear at this time what (if any) contigency plans the Orioles have in place. If the game is outright canceled, I’m not sure if that means they’d play a doubleheader tomorrow, or what. The weekend is supposed to be beautiful, however teams generally don’t like to schedule doubleheaders this early on. So my recommendation to fans is to follow my lead and just hope it works out. You can follow my twitter feed (@DomenicVadala) for updates as the afternoon goes on.

I also want to take this moment to welcome our new co-editor, Mike Smith. Mike comes to us from the Wrestling section of the Fansided network, and I think he’s going to be a great asset to our column. You’ll see him writing various types of articles such as series previews and other analytical pieces here and there. You might have noticed that he wrote a piece last night about the trade the Orioles made with the Los Angeles Dodgers. So join me in welcoming him to our humble team!

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