Feb 17, 2014; Sarasota, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter looks on during spring training at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles First Grapefruit Game – We Need This!

For a real baseball fan, this is one of the better days of the year – the day of the first legit spring training game. It is not quite opening day nor like a crunch game in September, but it certainly beats most of the rest of the days on the calendar, particularly most of the days over the past four months.

It is not quite like Christmas Day; it is more like being a kid and having your parents let you open just one present on Christmas Eve. And so today we hopefully get to see some of the pieces on our new toy called the 2014 Baltimore Orioles. And while most of the best parts of the team will not probably make the short bus trip to Port Charlotte to play the Rays, we might get to see how some intriguing new players will perform – like Jamile Weeks maybe? The repaired Nolan Reimold? Or the bigger and better Jonathan Schoop or Henry Urrutia?

The Orioles will start with Chris Tillman, while the Rays will counter with the guy who brought Tillman to the Birds in a trade – Eric Bedard. Yes, that Eric Bedard. In a Rays uniform? That’s just plain weird, but then again, so is … OK … forget that … this is a great day … let’s stay positive and nice here.

And we should be cheerful on this great day because, along with a real baseball game, it gives us hope. The “us” in that sentence refers to those living under the effects of the polar vortex crap – which appears to be most of the country right now. This just isn’t even funny anymore; it is like a practical joke that has gone on for too long to be continuously humorous in any way. But, tomorrow is the first day of the month in which the first real game that counts happens in Baltimore!

But for now, I’m still dealing with hot stove season, and by that, I don’t mean anything to do with offseason baseball trades or free agents. I’m talking about a real hot stove – in my case it is a coal stove. And yes, I’m trying to create some global warming, or at least family room warming.

So, let the games begin, and we’ll be back a bit later with some thoughts on the Orioles leadoff position.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles