The Baltimore Orioles Opened Oriole Park at Camden Yards in April of 1992, and defeated the Cleveland Indians 2-0 in a pitcher’s duel. Think about that for a moment; a pitcher’s duel. At hitter-friendly Camden Yards, the dimensions of which allegedly were crafted to Cal Ripken Jr.’s spray charts. A pitcher’s duel.
They’ve happened, but we haven’t seen too many other games quite like that one in the ballpark’s history. However I recall Chuck Thompson saying that afternoon that it appeared Camden Yards might favor pitchers. As great as Chuck Thompson was, he was obviously dead wrong about that. Granted, we have the benefit of 27 years of history in the park which he didn’t have that day.
Nevertheless, as we know Camden Yards favors hitters. Big time. And for an Orioles’ team which is trying to improve it’s pitching, that’s a huge problem.
We see the same “phenomenon” in Denver, but probably more exaggerated. Nevertheless, free agent pitchers always think twice about coming to Baltimore. There may be other reasons for that as well, however one of the big reasons is the dimensions of the park. Plenty of pitchers have come to the Orioles, had their numbers take a nosedive, and then gone onto bigger and better things. Wade Miley, for instance – who went onto contend with Houston.
And there’s no real remedy for this, other than the Orioles having to resign themselves to the realization that they’re going to have to overpay in order to get a legitimate arm on the free agent market. Everyone has a price. However the Orioles should also be looking out for pitchers who are looking to strike guys out. This as opposed to guys who make the majority of their outs by putting the ball in play. Strike outs remedy everything.