The Baltimore Orioles close Grapefruit League play on Sunday, March 25, 2018. They’re scheduled to take on the Philadelphia Phillies that day in Clearwater, FL. (Their final home game in Sarasota will be Saturday night, March 24th against Minnesota – also their opponent the follow Thursday afternoon for Opening Day at Camden Yards.) They will then break camp…
…and technically head for home. But there’ll be one more stop before they get there. The Orioles will play one final spring game, on Monday, March 26th at Harbor Park in Norfolk against their triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tides. First pitch is scheduled for just after 3 PM.
This will be the seventh time that the O’s will have played an exhibition game at Harbor Park – 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2017 being the other years. In those first two years they played the Washington Nationals. This will be their eighth time playing at Harbor Park, and the fourth in which they’ve played Norfolk. In reality, it amounts to an intersquad scrimmage.
Norfolk Tides General Manager Joe Gregory released the following statement regarding the game (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports:
The Orioles have such an outstanding fan base in the Hampton Roads area, and we’re extremely fortunate to have a major league affiliate committed to growing baseball in our local community. This is yet another example of the terrific relationship we have with the entire Orioles organization. We’re excited for this event to kick off our 2018 season.
For what it’s worth, this game will not count towards the unofficial Grapefruit League “standings.” But it will be the team’s final tuneup before Opening Day. And as interchangeable as the Tides’ and Orioles’ rosters can be at times, it could well be a very important game to a lot of people.