Baltimore Orioles: Back to the beginning

The Baltimore Orioles train in Sarasota, which is a little less than an hour south of Tampa, Fla. Of course Sarasota is where the journey this season began, as it does every year. So perhaps it’s fitting that the Birds find themselves back in the greater Tampa area again this weekend for the end.

It seems like such a long time ago at this point – spring training, that is. The majority of the games were at 1 PM, with my game recaps written by 4:30 and the rest of my evening free. Early to bed, early to rise. That’s been my motto most of my life, although now during the season it’s more like late to bed, early to rise!

Perhaps there’s a parallel to be drawn so to speak with returning to the Tampa area for the end of the season for the Birds. However I’d draw a line more so to spring training next year. People love to use the term meaningless exhibition game, however those spring training games in 2018 mean more than do these games this weekend right now.

Which means that to players such as Jones, Davis, et al (guys who will definitely be on the roster next year), these games mean a lot. Look no further than 2011 and 2012 to see what finishing strong can do to bring you into the next season. And perhaps the same is true of last year into this season. So much was made of Showalter leaving Britton in the bullpen in that AL Wild Card Game; and it’s something from which the Orioles never seemed to really recover.

The Tampa series begins tonight at Tropicana Field. Wade Miley gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Jake Odorizzi. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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