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Saturday Bird Droppings: The Orioles play a game today

The Twins come to Sarasota, Irvin using his command, and the rule changes debut.

Syndication: Sarasota Herald-Tribune Mike Lang / USA TODAY NETWORK

Good morning, Birdland!

This is not a drill. The Orioles have a baseball game today. We won’t be able to see any of those fancy moving pictures the kids are talking about, but the old hi-fi radio should do the trick. Just turn your dials to 1090 AM, 97.9 FM or 101.5 FM if you are in or around Charm City.

It is more than a little absurd that we are unable to watch the spring opener in 2023. We don’t need every Grapefruit League game on TV because, let’s be honest, we won’t watch all of them, especially if there’s more scrubs than studs in the lineup. Lots of teams pick and choose which games to broadcast, but the Orioles are at or the near the bottom of the league in terms of the volume they put on TV. The opener should be mandatory.

Mark whipped up a TV and radio guide for the Orioles spring games this week that should enable you to find the team via other broadcasts options. The O’s radio crew will have a sizeable workload this spring, which is nice because the radio feeds of other teams are a tough listen in the spring if you’re there for the O’s. You get a lot of information on players you’ve never heard of, and then the announcers are next-to-clueless on half the players in the Orioles lineup. But something is better than nothing, and it often provides pleasant background noise during the workday.

We already know what to expect from this first game against the Twins thanks to Brandon Hyde’s divulgence on Friday. Drew Rom starts on the mound with six pitchers to follow, all of which are non-roster invitees. Dean Kremer will start on Sunday.

As for the lineup, it’s going to be a good group! Adley Rutschman will DH, Adam Frazier will play second, and Joey Ortiz is the shortstop. Several prospects are expected to appear later.

The Twins, for their part, have already provided their lineup. Chance Sisco makes an appearance as their DH. An O’s draft pick in 2013, Sisco spent last summer in the Twins’ minor league system, never getting the big league call. Louie Varland starts on the mound. He got his first taste of the majors last season with a five-game cameo.

First pitch is 1:05 p.m. from Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.


Irvin looks to bring command, pitch efficiency to O’s | Steve Melewski
I am going to be worried about Cole Irvin’s ability to be a productive pitcher in the AL East until I’m not. His skillset just scares me outside of the cavernous Coliseum in Oakland.

Prospect Drew Rom thrilled to open Orioles’ ‘coming-out year’ as starter for first spring game | The Baltimore Sun
This is a big season for Rom. He has been a really good minor league pitcher, and the Orioles showed some belief in him by adding him to the 40-man roster over the winter. But scouts have shown concern about his fastball velocity, and he even said back in November that he wants to be able to sit in the mid-90s. If he can do that, then his ceiling jumps up dramatically.

Orioles’ spring opener is first test of new rules | Baltimore Baseball
Baseball is changing this year, and I’m looking forward to it. It won’t be as dramatic as some worriers are concerned, but hopefully it speeds up the game, encourages some more action when the ball is put in play, and keeps the players safe.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • The late Kevin Hickey (b. 1956, d. 2012) was born on this day. From 1989 through 1991 the southpaw tossed 89.2 innings out of the Baltimore bullpen.
  • Dave Vineyard turns 82 today. His only MLB experience came with the ‘64 O’s, when he pitched 54 innings across 19 total appearances.

This day in O’s history

1975 - Fan favorite and former AL MVP Boog Powell is traded along with Don Hood from Baltimore to Cleveland in exchange for catcher Dave Duncan and minor leaguer Alvin McGrew

2002 - Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Hawell reveals his intention to retire after the season. Although he made his name in the Motor City, Harwell was the Orioles’ original broadcaster when the organization moved from St. Louis in 1954.