A lot has happened in the world since we last gathered for a game thread. Not so much has happened in Birdland. Pretty much everybody is back except for Matt Wieters and Yovani Gallardo, and nobody wanted to see the latter any more anyway.
Opening Day is a day of infinite potential, even for a dedicated pessimist like myself. Of course there's no actual way that the team is going to go 162-0 and sweep its way through the playoffs for the first World Series title since 1983. But at least until the game starts, there's nothing to say definitively that it can't happen, except for the fact that it's never been done before.
Manny Machado could go on to win the AL MVP award. Kevin Gausman could compete for a Cy Young. Zach Britton could be perfect again. The double corner outfield platoons could be exactly what the Orioles need to solve their woes against left-handed pitching - which is good because their key division rival the Red Sox have a lefty-loaded rotation.
A healthier Chris Davis and a healthier Adam Jones could launch the offense into a whole new level of amazing. And maybe the back of the Orioles rotation will be better if only because it's hard to be worse than what it was last year.
Dream big on Opening Day. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, celebrating its 25th year, will be packed with 47,000 of your best friends, even if a number of them don't even know who Jay Gibbons is. Perhaps you are lucky enough to be among the number who is there. We might cross paths and never know it.
The orange carpet will be rolled out. The players will run down it, hopefully to universal cheers, unlike last year's shameful scattered boos for Hyun Soo Kim. Save the boos for the other team, especially Jose Bautista. And strap yourselves in, because I have a feeling that whatever happens this season, it's going to be a wild ride.
This game will air on MASN2 and will also be carried in the Baltimore area on WJZ.
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Devon Travis - 2B||Seth Smith - RF|
|Josh Donaldson - 3B||Adam Jones - CF|
|Jose Bautista - RF||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Kendrys Morales - DH||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Troy Tulowitzki - SS||Mark Trumbo - DH|
|Russell Martin - C||Welington Castillo - C|
|Steve Pearce - 1B||Hyun Soo Kim - LF|
|Kevin Pillar - CF||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Ezequiel Carrera - LF||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Marco Estrada - RHP||Kevin Gausman - RHP|