The Orioles may have a new number 1 on the field, although number 1 in our hearts will always be Brian Roberts. They finally completed the $2.4 million signing of the former San Diego Padres shortstop on Wednesday morning so that he was present in camp for the first full squad workout. With a full 40-man roster, signing someone means sending someone else packing, so au revoir to outfielder Alex Hassan, who at least got to hang around long enough to go see the Buck Showalter movie special last night.
The newest Oriole wore the number 1 when he first broke into the big leagues, although he switched to #2 in 2011 and has worn that since. That number is taken already and so he goes back to 1. It'll be a little strange to see someone other than Roberts wearing the number.
We'll have to get used to it. The O's are not a franchise like the Yankees who retires numbers willy-nilly. The Yankees even have unofficially retired numbers that they don't issue any more even if the player's number was not formally retired.
You might have noticed that it took a while for this player to be signed. Turns out the reason why is because they had to wait for him to arrange a plea deal for a misdemeanor charge. That is a good introduction to a new fanbase. The misdemeanor charge was for resisting arrest after a stop for suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana, which was found in the car. He got probation, a fine, and community service and now he's an Oriole. Good luck with all of that.
Baltimore Sun beat writer Eduardo Encina grabbed some video while the switch-hitter took batting practice:
Everth Cabrera taking BP from the right side. pic.twitter.com/mxjQCL6TJ9— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) February 25, 2015
There is video of him hitting from the left side as well, but that is less exciting. Batting practice is not a very exciting activity in general, even less so when it's the first one back from a winter off.
In other number news, Jayson Nix is wearing #57. I know you were all waiting on the edge of your seat for that one.
Chris Davis and his therapeutic use exemption came up again today. He addressed the topic with the O's reporters, noting that the drug he has been approved to take is called Vyvanse, which is a drug for ADHD treatment. Back at FanFest, Davis was adamant that this drug and the Adderall he was suspended for last year were not things that involved baseball at all.
That's probably what they all say when they get caught, but Davis spoke of focus and how you can always focus for three seconds at a time as a pitch is getting thrown. Between the oblique injury he suffered last year and becoming a father, you can imagine that he underwent some stressful changes in his life. Hopefully having the exemption for Vyvanse will help him have a better time this year.
One way you know it's spring training is when a writer posts a picture of a bunch of guys in Orioles uniforms standing around and the three most visible numbers are all ones in the 80s:
Actually, those are all coaches, not players. #85 is Butch Davis, #86 is Norfolk manager Ron Johnson, and #88 is Miguel Jabalera. If you know what the first and last of those guys do without looking it up, reward yourself with a cookie.
Basically every pitcher who might figure into the big league picture this year threw off a mound today, with the exception of Rule 5 picks Logan Verrett and Jason Garcia. They all threw bullpen sessions with hitters standing in the box to track the pitches. None of the beat crew got any video of this stuff because the team didn't allow media in to the area where that was taking place.
Fear not, for you can still get your fix of mundane video from Orioles camp. On Youtube, MASN Orioles snapped some video of pickoff and bunt drills, centered on Manny Machado, who doesn't really do a whole lot:
Spring training is thrilling.
Everyone has now reported to camp. The first Grapefruit League game is in six days, with the first game on Baltimore radio a week away and the first televised MASN game a day beyond that. For real baseball, we must wait a bit longer, but it is on its way.