The Baltimore Orioles will take the field in Florida on February 22, 2020 as they visit the Atlanta Braves’ new spring training facility for game one of Grapefruit League play. The following day on February 23rd they’ll have their own home opener at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota against the Boston Red Sox. And on we’ll go in the schedule from there.
However make no mistake that those games are more important to this franchise than perhaps some of the final games in 2019. At that point the team was in essence just playing out a string. These spring games will mean something going forward.
It’s out of the spring training games that the 2020 roster will come. If a player just blows coaches away, he’ll be a big leaguer with the Orioles in 2020. We’re conditioned to believe that exhibition games don’t mean anything, and that they don’t count. They certainly don’t count towards the team’s final record in the regular season. But to suggest they don’t mean anything is misguided.
They allow a team to gel before things truly get started. They also can affect the makeup of the team, as I said above. In terms of the future of the franchise, the games played this past September really meant nothing. They had no true affect on the future. The coming spring games in a couple of months won’t be that way. They both can, and must affect the future of this franchise.