Good morning, Camden Chatters.
For any O’s fan who’s planning to attend a weeknight game at Camden Yards next year — before Memorial Day or after Labor Day, at least — last night’s club announcement should be of particular interest to you. The Birds, for the first time, will be shifting those games to a 6:35 PM start time, half an hour earlier than what’s been the norm for the last couple of decades. A total of 16 games will start at 6:35.
The time change is a double-edged sword. In theory, it should allow more kids to be able to attend games — and perhaps even stay to the end — while being able to get home at a reasonable hour on a school night. Plus, if you’re the early-to-bed type who has trouble staying up for the end of night games, you’ll be in luck at the start of the 2020 season. Only one of the Orioles’ first 18 games — home or road — will start as late at 7:05 PM. So, well until mid-April, plenty of O’s games will be over in time for fans to enjoy the rest of their night.
On the other hand, a 6:35 start time could make it more difficult for people with 9-to-5 jobs to get to the ballpark on time, especially if they don’t live or work particularly close to Camden Yards. And even fans who are just watching on TV might have to alter their usual evening routine to accommodate the new schedule.
Personally I like the change, but I say that as someone who rarely attends weeknight games these days. I don’t think it’ll have any meaningful impact on attendance, if that’s the goal. As of this writing, more voters in Mark’s poll seem to be in favor of the change than against it. What do you think?
Elias holding same shopping list as GM meetings conclude - School of Roch
I hadn’t seen this tidbit about Jose Iglesias before: “They did their homework on him last winter, found that he’s developed a reputation as a negative influence in the clubhouse and passed on him.” Guess you can scratch his name off the Orioles’ shopping list.
Could a pair of former first-round picks elevate the O’s ’pen? - Steve Melewski
Having a full season of Hunter Harvey and/or Dillon Tate could help the Orioles’ bullpen improve over 2019. That’s not a high bar to clear.
Pitcher Aaron Brooks leaves Orioles for an opportunity in South Korea - BaltimoreBaseball.com
If you’ve been wondering how things are going for Tyler Wilson in the KBO, he checks in via text message at the end of this story. Happily, it seems like he’s having a pretty good time. Hopefully the same will be true for Brooks.
Baltimore Orioles: Could An NL West Team Come For Jonathan Villar? - Birds Watcher
The Padres have prospects to trade and are reportedly trying to make a run, so Nick Stevens wonders if a Villar trade could entice them. I sure wouldn’t mind raiding that stacked minor league system, but I’m not sure the Padres will be so eager to give youngsters away for a pending free agent.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And let’s all wish a happy 27th birthday to one of the Orioles’ longest tenured veterans, Dylan Bundy. Bundy may not have lived up to the massive hype that came with being the No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 draft, but he’s developed as a guy who will take the ball every fifth day and won’t embarrass you. He was basically a league-average pitcher in 2019 by ERA+ (99), which is perfectly fine for the O’s. Bundy is one of only four players remaining from the Birds’ last playoff team in 2016, along with Chris Davis, Trey Mancini, and Mychal Givens.
Other O’s birthdays today include 2002 soft-tossing Australian John Stephens (40) and 2004 righty Darwin Cubillan (47).
On this day in 1983, Cal Ripken Jr. won the first of his two career AL MVP awards, following up his 1982 Rookie of the Year campaign with an even better season. Cal led the league in runs (121), hits (211), and doubles (47) while batting .318/.371/.517 with 27 homers and 102 RBIs for the world champion Orioles. He became the first player in big league history to win the ROY and MVP in consecutive seasons.