Tropicana Field in Tampa isn’t exactly a spot that the Baltimore Orioles would have expected to have a cancellation or postponement. However tonight’s series finale in Tampa has been canceled after consultation with the league and the MLBPA. This in a effort to stand in solidarity with social justice initiatives throughout the sports world.
Both teams were planning on playing. The managers met early in the afternoon and the game appeared on par to begin. However late this afternoon the league came out and said that it would prefer that the entire slate of games be canceled. This as opposed to just a few games being played.
It’s unclear how this affects the season moving forward, or if further cancellations will occur. Does this mean that the weekend series in Buffalo with Toronto is in jeopardy? Tough to say. Time will tell. All we know is that there’s no game tonight.
As of now the Birds are supposed to open up a three-game set against Toronto tomorrow night at Toronto’s temporary home, Sahlen Field in Buffalo, NY. Starters are TBD for both teams as of now. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.
On this day in 2011 I said that so long as I penned a Baltimore Orioles’ column I’d remember August 24th. That was the evening that we learned of the untimely death of former Oriole Mike Flanagan. It’s a day that few people who follow the Birds will ever forget.
The Birds were in Minnesota, and the story of Flanagan’s death in essence unfolded as the game played out that night. It wasn’t until after the game that the Orioles and MASN television acknowledged Flanagan’s death. And that was by design.
This affected anyone who knew what Flanagan meant to the organization. Mike loved being an Oriole during his playing days. And he loved being affiliated with the organization after he retired. He spent numerous years in roles such as pitching coach, Vice-President of Baseball Ops, and of course as a broadcaster. He was beloved by the fans.
And he’s missed by the fans. His dry New England wit was unparalleled. But of course the reason he was so loved is because he was a great Oriole to begin with. Famously he was the last Oriole to pitch at Memorial Stadium. That means something. And it was done by design. He loved the Orioles and he loved the fans. And the fans loved him back.
So to Mike Flanagan’s family, I hope they know that Orioles fans are thinking of them today. These types of anniversaries are never easy. But they also help to remember the person. And no matter how he was connected to you, Mike Flanagan was someone you’d want to remember. May he rest in eternal peace.
The Baltimore Orioles open up a three-game set in Philadelphia tonight against the Phillies. Discounting the exhibition game the teams played at Citizens Bank Park last month, I remember well the last time the Birds were in Philly. July of 2018.
For the record, the Orioles lost both games of that short two-game series. It was the beginning of the end of the Showalter/Jones era. However as a history buff I really enjoyed getting to go around Philadelphia to locations such as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, etc…ON THE FOURTH OF JULY. History’s one of my passions in life. So while I didn’t have time to wait in line to go into the signing room, I felt that simply being at that hallowed ground on that day put me in the presence of some of the greatest men in American history.
Major League Baseball has announced the game schedule for the Baltimore Orioles’ and Miami Marlins this week. The O’s will host Miami starting tomorrow at 7:30 PM. The teams will play a doubleheader on Wednesday, starting at 5 PM. The Orioles will serve as the home team in game one, and Miami as the home team in game two. Both games will be seven innings long, a first in Oriole history.
The second game of the doubleheader (the one in which Miami will be the home team) will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. And on Thursday evening the teams will conclude their series with a game at 7:30 PM in which Miami will be the home team. So far as I know (and I’m going off of memory on this), it’ll be the first time in the history of Camden Yards in which the Orioles will be the visiting team. Because, 2020…
…although that’s not technically true. Circa 2007 or 2008 the O’s had a game in Chicago suspended due to rain in the seventh inning. The game was completed the next time the ChiSox played the O’s, which was a month later at Camden Yards. The game was completed prior to the regularly-scheduled game, with the Orioles technically as the visiting team. But I digress.
All of this is up in the air, as a Hurricane Isaias moves up the east coast. It’s anticipated to dump a lot of rain into the Baltimore area tomorrow. What’s unclear is whether or not this will affect the 7:30 PM game at Camden Yards. What’s also unclear is what the contingency plans would be, if any. It might just go as a rainout, only to be made up if need be. Time will tell.
The Baltimore Orioles will take on the New York Yankees tonight and tomorrow at a Camden Yards. It of course will be the Birds’ home opener. It was supposed to be against the Miami Marlins, however due to the COVID-19 outbreak in their clubhouse their season has been placed on hold.
So New York comes in tonight, and they were also supposed to be in Baltimore from August 3rd-5th – next week. Monday and Tuesdays games in essence have been rescheduled for tonight and tomorrow. Wednesday August 5th’s game is still on against New York.
Presumably, if Miami is able to continue their season next week, those games will be played on Monday and Tuesday. In fact, you might even see doubleheader’s, so as to makeup the games canceled earlier in the week in Miami. All of that remains to be seen. If Miami is unable to continue their season, presumably those dates will just remain as off days for the O’s.
The “disjointed series” with New York begins tonight at Camden Yards. Alex Wojchiekowski gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Gerrit Cole. Game time is set for just after 7:30 PM.
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced last night that the Baltimore Orioles game tonight in Miami has been postponed. There was talk about playing today at Camden Yards (either one game or a doubleheader) with the O’s as the visiting team in their home park, but that’s been scrapped. Manfred on the situation:
Our first concern obviously is the health of the players and their families and making sure that we do everything possible to minimize the spread of the virus among our employees. We’ve been fortunate so far. We’ve done tens of thousands of tests, our positive rate has been 0.4 percent, so we feel like the protocols have worked pretty well.
Not withstanding that fact, we have made some decisions. The Miami Marlins will not play their two games in Miami tonight and tomorrow. We’re doing some additional testing. If the testing results are acceptable, the Marlins will resume play in Baltimore on Wednesday against the Orioles.Quote Courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports
The Orioles are scheduled to play Miami on Wednesday and Thursday nights at Camden Yards. Those games of course are previously scheduled, and are Oriole home games. Now what could theoretically happen is that assuming Miami is cleared to play, perhaps they do a doubleheader on Wednesday (at Camden Yards) with Miami as the home team, and another doubleheader Thursday with the Orioles as the home team.
Whether both teams and the union would approve of two doubleheaders in a row is another story. That would certainly put the Orioles at a disadvantage going into a weekend series with division foe, Tampa. More realistically, I think you put those two games on the back burner and play one or both of them at the end of the season if need be. Either that or find a common off day and play a doubleheader.
For the record, the Orioles have adhered to all of the agreed-upon guidelines in terms of social distancing, masks, and putting themselves in essence in a bubble while on the road. The issue of course lies with the Miami Marlins. I would submit that baseball fans, players, coaches, etc. everywhere should be looking at them with contempt when they played on Sunday in Philadelphia knowing that the virus was spreading in their clubhouse. Infections are going to happen. It’s how you handle them that makes the difference. They handled it about as poorly as anyone could. More as we hear it.
Update: We’re hearing that the league has now at least temporarily suspended the Miami Marlins’ season. So that would wipe out tomorrow and Thursday’s games between the O’s and Miami at Camden Yards. It’s unclear what the league will do moving forward, however at this time canceling or suspending the MLB season as a whole doesn’t appear to be on the table.
There are all kinds of ideas being thrown around, including one that has the NY Yankees coming to Baltimore for games tomorrow and Thursday evenings. NY was otherwise supposed to have been here for three games next week – Monday-Wednesday. Again, that’s just an idea. It’s unclear if that means that perhaps things could shift regarding Miami by then, and maybe they could play here and just swap series’…?
MLB appears to not be overly concerned about one team playing a few fewer games than others. So if someone ends up playing 55 games, that’s fine – they’ll do standings by win percentages. And in a scenario like what we’re seeing this year, I think that’s smart. I’m not sure they planned for an entire team to have it’s season suspended, but here we are. More as we hear it.
Update II: MLB has announced that the New York Yankees will be coming to Baltimore tomorrow and Thursday night to take on the O’s at Camden Yards. This replaces the Miami series. Presumably both games start at 7:30 PM.
The Baltimore Orioles are in Miami in anticipation of tonight’s game with the Marlins – which has apparently just been canceled. The Miami Marlins are actually still in Philadelphia, where they played this weekend. Over the course of the series, four Miami players tested positive for Covid-19.
There are multiple reports and stories out there, but some of them pin as many as 14 positive tests in the Miami clubhouse. What happens from here remains to be seen. As of now tomorrow’s game and the two-game set in Baltimore on Wednesday and Thursday are still on.
It’s possible that if enough taxi squad guys can make it to Miami by tomorrow and the rest of the team tests negative, perhaps they could play a doubleheader. Or maybe a doubleheader at Camden Yards later in the week with Miami acting as the home team in one of the games. Again, remains to be seen. All we know for now is that today’s game is canceled.
Incidentally the aforementioned scenario’s are only ideas out of my head. None of it was said with any sort of prior knowledge. But this is kind of a big moment for MLB, because something like this was bound to happen eventually. Hopefully we can move forward taking as many precautions as possible. This story will be updated if need be as more details about the schedule are made available, however in the interim please join me in sending prayers and good vibes to manager Don Mattingly and the entire Miami Marlins organization.
Update: The O’s are apparently going to be flying back to Baltimore this evening. So while nothing official yet, that would mean that tomorrow night’s game at the very least isn’t going to be played in Miami. With the Marlins in Philadelphia, they could easily bus down to Baltimore and play a doubleheader tomorrow at Camden Yards – obviously with Miami serving as the home team.
It’s unclear if that’s what’s happening, but it appears that the Orioles’ stay in South Florida is going to be cut short, needless to say. I suspect that an attempt to play the doubleheader at Oriole Park tomorrow will be made, and if worst comes to worst they’ll just postphone both games for now. More as we hear it.
This is the first season preview I’ve written for the Baltimore Orioles in late July. But that’s about par for the course in 2020. Opening Day high temperature records are being obliterated this year. And we all know the reason why. But such is the situation in which we find ourselves in 2020.
In March I was planning on predicting that the Birds would take a few steps forward this season. And by that I mean in the win/loss column. The 2019 O’s won 54 games – which was an improvement over 2018. Who knows what the prediction would have been had this year gone off properly. Needless to say however, I can confidently tell you that the 2020 Birds won’t even approach 100 losses. In fact, this will probably be the lowest loss total in franchise history.
It begins and ends with pitching, and that’s a work in progress. Even still however, Oriole pitching was having a decent spring before things shut down. A better spring than I would have expected. So could they be slightly better than advertised? Perhaps. But they’ll suffer a bit at first, with staff ace John Means missing the Opening Day start tonight due to soreness.
More realistically in a sixty-game sprint, the bigger question might be how the middle relief stacks up. How do the Cody Carroll‘s and Richard Bleier‘s of the world faire in games? We’ve already started to see the concept of an “opener” in MLB the past few years. Might we start seeing more out of middle relievers? In a sixty-game season, that might be necessary.
Hitting of course is a big deal also. The O’s will be without Trey Mancini this year of course due to his cancer treatments. Chris Davis had an exceptional exhibition season, and the hope is that he can continue that starting tonight and into the regular season. If the Orioles are going to keep up in games they’re going to need runs and base runners. That also means that the Hanser Alberto‘s, Rio Ruiz‘s, and Anthony Santander‘s of the world will need to have big games as well. Get on base; the runs will come.
This was already going to be another rebuilding year for the O’s. But will it be? We’ve certainly never seen a sixty-game sprint as a season. Could it play to the Birds’ favor? That’s a tough question to answer. So what’s my prediction for 2020? Again, tough question to answer. While most people assume the O’s will finish in the cellar, I don’t think they will. So that’s my prediction – while I don’t think they’ll contend, I do think they’ll stay out of last place.
Opening Day of course is today, and the Birds find themselves in at Fenway Park for the first of a three-game set. Tommy Milone gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi. Game time is set for just after 7:30 PM.
Prior to yesterday’s 6-4 exhibition loss in Washington, the Baltimore Orioles named Tommy Milone their Opening Day starter for Friday night in Boston. I see Milone as a curious choice, given that he didn’t see that much action in the spring. However it’s entirely possible that manager Brandon Hyde is almost seeing this as a spot start:
The bottom line with Tommy is that he’d just be getting one extra days of rest, so we keep everybody on regular rest. I didn’t want to bring anybody back short. In this kind of unusual space and time when we only had a short time to get these guys ready, they’ve done an amazing job of getting ready. We just didn’t want to take the chance of bringing back somebody on short rest, and we felt that Tommy was just one day away. So he’s going to have five days before his start. It just works out for us in that way.Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports
John Means of course was supposed to be the Opening Day starter. However arm fatigue is holding him back. I do think that Means will make a sizable contribution this year. It just won’t be as the Opening Day starter.
I’m sure that a lot of people didn’t have Tommy Milone making the start on Opening Day. But it’s about par for the course for 2020. How many of us had Opening Day occurring in July?!
I’m not sure if Florida Grapefruit League Opener is the right term for what the Baltimore Orioles will do tonight. And consequently I’m not sure that we should even use the term exhibition opener. We certainly could use it, and I did in the title. But…I think you get my gist.
In accordance with the return to play agreement, MLB teams were allowed to schedule up to three exhibition games leading into the season. So as has been previously reported, the O’s will head to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia tonight, then home tomorrow evening against Washington, and then against Washington again on Tuesday at Nationals Park. That gives them two full days (plus much of Friday) to get ready for the regular season.
This of course is a season that’s everything BUT regular. It’s almost shocking to me to think that I’m writing about a real game tonight that the Orioles will be playing. I still remember the day that everything was canceled back in March – the O’s had a 6 PM game at Minnesota (in Fort Myers, FL), and while everyone knew the game would probably be canceled nothing official had come down the pike. The Oriole buses made it five minutes out of Ed Smith Stadium before being turned around to go back. And that’s where we left off…
…until tonight. Now mind you folks, if exhibition games are vanilla in nature and have next-to-no pizzazz to them, these three exhibition games will probably be worse than what we’re used to. This isn’t spring training; spring training is fun and light-hearted, everyone’s in Florida enjoying the weather and the beaches, and fans get more access to players. These games will be games that don’t count played in empty ballparks with piped in crowd noise.
And perhaps that in and of itself is part of the reasoning as to why these games are going to be played. Yes it helps teams get ready for a very irregular regular season. However playing in empty parks is going to be a big change. Better to be accustomed to it before it counts for real.
One thing of concern, John Means was meant to start this game, putting him on line to start Friday in Boston (Opening Day). However Means was scratched due to what might be termed mild “dead arm.” It’s unclear if he’ll be ready to go on Friday.
As is aforementioned in this column, the O’s head to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia for tonight’s game. Tom Eschelman gets the start for the Orioles, and at this moment Philadelphia is yet to announce a starter. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.