Good morning, Camden Chatters.
This just in: things are not getting any better with the MLB lockout.
In the one week since MLB and the MLBPA’s unsuccessful negotiating session in Florida led the league to cancel the first two series of the regular season, the two sides don’t seem to have inched any closer to a new collective bargaining agreement. And now another week of the 2022 schedule is reportedly on the chopping block.
Yesterday, according to The Athletic’s Evan Drellich, MLB told the MLBPA that it expects to to cancel an additional week of games if no deal is reached today. And at this point there seems to be too sizable a gap between the two sides for an agreement to come together that quickly, based on this tweet from Drellich less than an hour later:
Sources: MLB offered to start CBT at $228 million, going to $238 million by end of deal. But rest of proposal not yet known, and league’s increase is said to have major strings attached. Players' last known ask was $238m, finishing at $263m. MLB was at $220m previously.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 8, 2022
MLB and the MLBPA are at least planning to talk again today, but if no breakthrough comes from those discussions, expect another two series to get yanked from the calendar. For the Orioles, that means they would lose a three-game series in Tampa Bay from April 8-10, as well as a three-game set in Baltimore against the Brewers which was to serve as their Plan B home opener. On to Plan C, I suppose. That would move the Orioles’ new tentative Opening Day to Friday, April 15 — Jackie Robinson Day — against the Yankees at Camden Yards.
Assuming those Rays and Brewers games get scrapped, along with the originally scheduled Blue Jays and Red Sox series that were canceled last week, the Orioles will have missed their opening four series against teams that were a combined 108 games over .500 last season. So, if it’s any consolation, the O’s probably would’ve gotten trounced in most of those games anyway. ...Oh. That’s not any consolation? Fair enough.
There is some good news for Orioles fans, especially if you live in the Sarasota area or have already made a pilgrimage down there for the currently-delayed spring training. Orioles minor leaguers are unaffected by the lockout and have begun reporting to camp, and the O’s announced yesterday that their workouts and games will be open to the public. So if you happen to be in the neighborhood, swing by Ed Smith Stadium or Twin Lakes Park and get a glimpse of Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, and other future Orioles stars get their work in.
It’s a fun way to pass the time while we wonder what the near future holds for Major League Baseball.
Mike Elias on state of O’s international program - Steve Melewski
Melewski’s interview with the Orioles GM about the club’s international presence is well worth the read. I still can’t believe there was like a decade-plus where the Orioles just...weren’t doing anything on the international market. Literally nothing.
Meet Eric Garfield, Orioles fans’ eyes and ears at minor league camp in Sarasota - Maximizing Playoff Odds
Even before minor league camps opened to the public, Eric Garfield was Johnny-on-the-spot in getting video footage and reports on the prospects’ workouts. Do people still use the phrase “Johnny-on-the-spot”? Anyway, he’s well worth a Twitter follow.
Answers to your Oriole questions, Part 1 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff is still receiving plenty of questions for his monthly mailbag, so at least not every baseball fan has been forever soured on the sport because of the lockout. That’s what passes for good news these days.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Five former Orioles were born on this day: infielder Mike Moriarty (48), right-handers Mark Worrell and Chris Lambert (each 39), and the late Marv Breeding (b. 1934, d. 2006) and Ryan Freel (b. 1976, d. 2012).
On this day in 2001, the MLB career of controversial slugger Albert Belle officially came to an end, as the Orioles announced that his degenerative right hip had left him “totally disabled and unable to perform as a Major League baseball player.” Belle, who had a history of suspensions and off-field incidents, had played just two seasons of the five-year, $65 million deal he signed with the Birds in November 1998.