The full squad of Orioles reported to camp in Sarasota before the deadline on Tuesday. No one is late. There aren't even any visa issues, which it seems like every year there's at least one. There is one player still yet to arrive, but that's because the O's haven't finalized the contract yet with the former Padres shortstop they're pursuing, so he's not even on the team yet.
Now that everyone is present, it is time for one of Buck Showalter's annual traditions. Later on tonight, the O's will pack into buses and head to a local movie theater where a film will be screened. They aren't going to be watching any Oscar-winning cinema. If Showalter follows the trend of past years the film will consist of awesome Orioles highlights from both the distant and recent past. The purpose is motivation and team building. It certainly hasn't hurt in recent years.
None of the short films put together so far have been released to the wider public of Orioles fans, which is unfortunate. If you want to imagine what it's like, just find out when the next time MASN will air the 60th anniversary game and celebration. That's what I picture. Remember when the great O's of the past and the soon-to-be division winners mingled on the field after it was all over? That was something special.
The players might not need to be reminded of that one so much. Most of them were there. So was I, although I don't mind seeing it again.
Someone who walks into that movie theater tonight will be removed from the 40-man roster tomorrow. That's actually a little sad.
Out on the practice fields, it was a quiet day even by the usual standards for spring training. The O's did not schedule any bullpen sessions for the day, so there's no video of anyone pitching. If you are looking for some Orioles in motion, well, they're taking grounders in the distance of this video captured by Baltimore Sun beat writer Eduardo Encina:
As spring rolls along, Pearce will get a little bit of time at third base, Showalter told reporters today. It's good to be prepared just in case, but here's hoping that particular contingency plan will not need to be put into motion very often or even at all.
A slow camp is not a bad thing. It could be a lot worse for the O's, who don't have to deal with anything like the media circus surrounding Alex Rodriguez as the Yankees camp gets under way. At least one anonymous Yankees official sniped at A-Rod for reporting early. Sheesh.
Showalter was quite happy with the number of O's players who got there early, telling reporters that he didn't think he's ever seen so many players report early. This is another one of those things that means nothing until it means something. It's not a bad sign that everyone is excited to get there and get to work. It's probably not predictive of anything either.
From the department of symbolism, Showalter and Duquette converse over a fence:
Obviously, the fence represents the gap that has sprung up between the two after the offseason shenanigans involving Duquette possibly going to the Blue Jays. Now, they are close in proximity, but separate from one another. Duquette's head is turned away from the Orioles logo in the distance, symbolizing how he's already turned his back on the franchise.
Gloomy grey skies are a portent of an uncertain future. On the ground, the water bottle just out of reach is the Orioles fanbase, close to the situation, yearning to help, but powerless to change anything because it's just a water bottle. It's really a marvelous photograph.
A little news from the Orioles' neighbors at Camden Yards came out today:
Dick Cass said team will install new wifi system, state of the art, at M&T Bank. Cost is $5 million— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) February 24, 2015
I don't know what you guys have experienced at crowded Orioles games recently, but I find that it's pointless to try to do anything with data. Sometimes I can't even text. Yes, this is the first world problem of first world problems. But as long as the team is going to try to put fan tweets and photographs on the Jumbotron, not to mention give away prizes if you check in with MLB's app, maybe they could get things set up so you can actually send your friend a text while you're stuck waiting in line for a hot dog.
Come to think of it, doing something about the excessive lines for food wouldn't be bad either. One thing at a time! That upgrade would cost the same as Alejandro De Aza. Maybe they can line that up for next offseason.
Last, but certainly not least, MASN's Roch Kubatko took this photo. Caption this:
The first full squad workout is set for tomorrow.