Yesterday the Baltimore Orioles hosted an estimated 8,000 fans at the Baltimore Convention Center for their annual FanFest. That’s down from previous years; there have been FanFests which have drawn 12,000 or so people. However given the fact that many players on the team wouldn’t have even been recognizable on the street, I think that’s a decent number.
You have to take into account the rebuilding process that the Orioles are going through, and then put the dip in attendance into that context. And the fans who came were genuinely excited and enthusiastic to be there. The way I see it, the current state of the team gives folks an opportunity to get in on the ground level so to speak on the next era and generation of Orioles baseball.
Folks don’t know what to expect going into this year with a new manager and almost an entirely new roster. Yet the fanfare around the club was familiar to people yesterday. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is still a great place to spend a summer evening or afternoon. Not everything will be different – the beer will still be cold!
One thing of note, it’s interesting to hear first baseman Chris Davis speak to some of the changes he’s made (mainly in his offseason workout regiment) going into 2019. Davis, it appears, is fully on board with attempting to reverse the disastrous 2018 season he turned in:
It was a lot different this year. Unfortunately, I’m not getting any younger and I think this past season more than anything just really taught me a lot about taking care of my body, the way it looks like as I get older. I can’t go in there and crush arms all the time or just load up and attack training the way I have in years past. So I’ve had to do some different things this offseason.Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports
I’m a little bit lighter and everybody keeps telling me that I look skinny, so I guess that’s a compliment. But I feel good. I feel more ready this time this year than I did last year. That’s saying a lot because I felt like I was really going to have a good year going into spring training. I’m ready to get it started, I’m ready to put last year behind us and start this season off. We’re actually going down to Sarasota a little early.
Whether Davis’ new manner of working out and treating his body makes a difference remains to be seen. However that might well be the key to whether the Orioles show marginal improvement or decent improvement in 2019.