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Wednesday Bird Droppings: There might be fans at Camden Yards this season

The O’s struggle to put up wins down in Sarasota but get some exciting news back in Maryland. Plus, a pair of the team’s young pitchers have started to shine.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Birdland,

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced on Tuesday that he will easing some of the restrictions put in place to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus. Included in that announcement was that large outdoor venues, like Oriole Park at Camden Yards, can reopen to 50% capacity starting this Friday.

However, this does not mean you can go and buy tickets for Orioles games right now. The Baltimore Sun’s Jon Meoli laid out the other barriers standing between the fans and watching live games this summer.

The biggest among those is that Major League Baseball and Baltimore City both need to approve the opening of the stadium. It feels like 50% might be a bit unrealistic if fans are still expected to maintain six feet of distance.

As many extremely original jokesters on Twitter have pointed out, the O’s don’t always have the easiest time passing the 50% threshold during a regular season game, so this shouldn’t be a problem, right? Well, Opening Day is always a sell-out, and any Friday and Saturday evening games are also often well-attended. Add in the fact that no one has been able to watch an inning at Camden Yards in-person since the fall of 2019, and it’s fair to assume there will be plenty of demand if and when tickets are made available.

Links & Notes

Orioles observations on Dean Kremer’s bounce-back, more Bruce Zimmermann dominance and Chris Davis’ extended absence | The Baltimore Sun
Chris Davis hasn’t played in over a week, and he could be headed for a 60-day IL stint. That makes the Orioles roster math much easier to solve. It also makes them a better team by, possibly, two or three wins.

Who’s rising or falling after the first week of spring training games? | The Baltimore Sun
Bruce Zimmermann is looked pretty dang good this spring. Of course, that might mean nothing, but on a team that desperately needs guy that can survive multiple innings, the Maryland-born lefty deserves an extended audition this year.

Could O’s be a fit for free-agent 3B Franco? |
You could read this piece from Joe Trezza. It’s good. Or you could read someone else on the topic, who published it a full day earlier. Totally your choice.

Orioles pitching dominates in 1-0 loss | School of Roch
Honestly, developing the pitching feels like the number one goal of this season for the Orioles, so low-scoring games are a moral victory. Losing 1-0 or 3-1 feels better than 8-5 or 12-9 for this group.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday! Here’s who else is celebrating today:

  • Tike Redman turns 44 today. The outfielder appeared in 40 games for the 2007 O’s, going 42-for-132 with two home runs and seven stolen bases.
  • Longtime reliever Mike Timlin is 55 today. The righty pitched out of the Orioles bullpen for two seasons (1999-2000) before being dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Chris Richard and a minor league pitcher.

Orioles history

March 10th has been a relatively slow day in Orioles history, according to Baseball Reference, so here are some Birdland-adjacent things that have happened on this date:

2017 - Team USA starts off their World Baseball Classic with a 3-2 win over Colombia in 10 innings. Adam Jones knocks in the winning run off Guillermo Moscoso.

2019 - Jones, who served as Orioles starting center fielder for the previous decade, signs a one-year contract worth $3 million with the Arizona Diamondbacks.