The Baltimore Orioles now enter their final week of spring training.
The Baltimore Orioles have exactly one week or so left in spring training before they fly the coup back home for the summer. One week from today the O’s will find themselves in Philadephia at Citizens Bank Park. They’ll close out Grapefruit League play with one final exhibition game against the Philadelphia Phillies – in a big league park.
So bearing that in mind there are a few “housekeeping matters” to go over. Starting next week we’ll begin to see the O’s transition to some night games. The majority of the games in spring training are during the afternoon, however towards the end many teams like to go to night games to get the players ready for playing under the lights.
In fact, fans will have the chance to see the O’s a few times here in this final week on television. Today’s game is being shown on MASN, as will be next Tuesday and Wednesday’s games. Today’s game is obviously at 1 PM, while those two will begin at 6 PM. On Monday the O’s will travel to Fort Myers to take on Boston in a 1 PM matinee, a game that fans will be able to see on ESPN.
The Birds will close out the home portion of the Grapefruit League schedule next Thursday with a 3 PM game against Atlanta. They will then spend one final night in Sarasota, before boarding a team charter and flying to Philadelphia on Friday morning. That 6 PM first pitch might give a few Orioles fans the chance to see the team up close for the first time – as Baltimore and Philadelphia aren’t too far apart.
The O’s will have next Saturday and Sunday off, before Opening Day on Monday, April 4th. During that time I’ll put out an official 2016 season preview on Birds Watcher as we lead into the Opening Day game. The Orioles also indicated that towards the end of this weekend we can expect the starting rotation to become public, which is always of interest to a lot of people.
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Incidentally, teams do put a decent amount of stock in the whole bit about switching to night games in the final week. And that’s why the Orioles do it – there is a bit o an adjustment to having the lights in your eyes as opposed to the sun. Furthermore players’ body clocks need to adjust as well. Being a baseball player almost has a “9-5-like quality” to it during spring training. Not so during the regular season.
So as the clock turns, we find ourselves in the final week. Sarasota has been good to the Orioles once again this year, and the relationship between the club and the community is very strong. The Orioles belong to Sarasota as much as they do Baltimore it seems – which given how much love they get shown in the spring is a good thing.