a collection of random thoughts and ideas from me, her, and sometimes us
Tag Archives: baltimore orioles
as you probably know, i am a big orioles and baseball fan and with the 20th anniversary of camden yards coming up, my wife got us opening day tickets for christmas (or was it my birthday…). anyway, i’ve been to opening several times as a kid and my buddy dan and i went last year. this year, it was bee, myself, my dad, and dan and his dad. well, needless to say, we had a great time.
with all the new renovations to the stadium, we got down to the stadium early around 1230/1245 to take in the events. first we talked around the stadium on the outside to see the brooks robinson statue since we hadn’t been down that way since it was installed. with all the crazy people at pickles we stayed on the other side and took it in from afar. as we got into the eutaw street gate, we saw the new gino’s stand and the patio area above centerfield. we made our way from there to right field and watched some batting practice and then went over to left field and took in some more BP. i just missed a ball by a split second. guess i should have had my glove on instead of keeping it in our bag. haha.
our seats were in section 13, which is different than our partial ticket plan but still under cover. and boy was it windy under there. there was probably at 10 degree difference from the sun to the shade because of the winds that were whipping through the stadium friday. many of the renovations to the stadium looked nice and well done. can’t decide yet if i am fan of the new lower wall in right field. it’s kind of like when they moved home plate so they could add more seats to the stadium. guess we’ll see how it plays as t he year goes on. as the festivities went along and all the players got introduced, it was great to see markakis and wieters be presented with their well deserved gold glove awards. nick should probably have 2 or 3 by now, but you can’t argue giving him one for having an error-less season and playing more than 150 games in RF. the new rules in voting for gold gloves as probably helped make this possible finally.
the game turned out to be a great one too and arrieta pitched a gem. i knew the orioles would win. they have one of the top 3 win/loss records on opening day in all of major league baseball. i’m pretty sure the only boo’ing on the day was when kevin gregg was introduced. poor guy. then again, they might have boo’d troy patton too for letting up a 2 RBI home run in the 9th in. no one boo’d the caped crusader, er, field trespasser though as the baltimore police laid a nice tackle on him. we also missed it because we were in the concourse at the time when a police officer came running by us and down the tunnel.
all in all, it was a great time at the yard and a fun way to spend the day with some family, friends, and new comers to opening day in baltimore, aka a statewide holiday!
with the ravens season over, it’s time to focus on baseball season. being born and raised in the baltimore area, i was raised as an orioles fan. growing up with the oriole way was great but not being old enough to remember the ’83 world series and not seeing one since has been a tough way to be a fan. as we all know, the last 14 years have been tough for any orioles fan; however, i can’t give up on them now.
“What? Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”
having grown up as a baseball fan and playing and umpiring baseball for the vast majority of my life, i always watch the game with a critical eye. i sometimes joke that i’ve forgotten more about the rules of baseball them some people know. we all know this year is going to be a another rough year. there was promise when andy mcphail came in and things went okay and now that he is gone, dan duquette is attempting to put his stamp on this organizations. he’s stirred up things in the front office, but has he done enough? we’ve had a problem developing talent for years now and some of those people that were in charge for the last several years are still around. as far as the talent on the field, i haven’t been blown away. seems like more of the same but on a bigger scale. he’s brought in a lot of decent talent and some older talent as well as a mix of foreign born players. many of these guys are expected to strengthen the organization overall but how many of them will make a splash with the big league club? on the surface, i like some of the deals that they have made.
i would have hoped they showed up and made a splash with a #1 pitcher, especially now that Guthrie has been traded, but there’s two sides to everything and one of those guys would have to want to come here as well. now we have a chance with the guys like wada, ayala, hammel, eveland, and a cast of others who we have signed to bolster up a rotation with guys who hopefully have bright futures like britton, matusz, arrieta, and tillman.
they’ve also worked to bolster up the other position players. when i say worked, we don’t know if they will work or if anyone of the trades/signings are any good. right now, none of them remind me of the hardy trade last year but hopefully they will turn into a nugget as showalter would say. i’ll leave all the advance stats and sabremetrics up to the experts like camden crazies and camden depot, but on my gut feel, and i know many of the others feel the same way, it’s going to be a tough season. last year, i had great hope for the team. at the start of the season , i had them at .500 or better, but this year, i think its going to a struggle to even get there.
this year as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of oriole park at camden yards, i am going to continue to enjoy the team and the stadium. for the second year, bee has gotten us a partial game plan for my birthday. it’s been different the last couple years enjoying the game through the eyes of someone who is new to the game. when we get to the stadium, i enjoy watching the game through her eyes and explaining many of the different aspects of the game to her. having been to at least 150 games, from memorial stadium to camden yards, it’s neat to see someone who is new to the sport. i’ve seen great games, terrible games, games in final week of the streak, the orioles vs. cuba game, fireworks games, and many more. this year, again, we will cheer on her favorite player, nick markakis and many others, and give it the old college try. just like the orioles.
what’s next? who knows what will happen. maybe, for a lost generation of orioles fans who haven’t seen a winning team, we will see a billy beane like season and make a run to better than .500 and make a run at the postseason.
see you at the yard! i’ve met lots of great people there over the years so stop by!
as you might have noticed if you follow my twitter feed, i attended orioles fanfest today with other loyal fans of this great franchise. since the last 14 years haven’t been the greatest, this annual event is one where friends turn out to see what the team has done in the offseason and where the brass thinks the team is going this year.
i arrived at the convention center right around 10 am when event opened for season ticket holders. unfortunately my buddy jason couldn’t attend this year since his wife gave birth to their first child a little over a week ago so i ventured downtown alone this year. fanfest is a nice combination of orioles player and personnel Q&A, autographs, giveaways, and other activities for kids. after arriving, i heading to the merchandise section. this is an area they have every year for new and game used items as well as a silent auction. i picked a up banner, shirt, hat, a couple programs and some flanny patches. they also have a lot of game worn jerseys out and if you aren’t the first person through the door or pick the lucky pile, you won’t get any of the stars. showalter and many of the other tops players are first to go. there were tons of jerseys from players in the minor league system or who were on the team. one guy was very excited about getting a justin duchscherer jersey although he never played an inning here. there were also game worn pants, helmets, hats, and used bats. i considered getting an autographed luke scott back but figured since he was gone, maybe not or $100.
from there i swung into the giveaways area. this was alot better run this year than last. last year the line wound through the middle of fanfest. early on they had brian matusz bobbleheads and orioles magazines featuring matt wieters. later i saw some camo floppy hats. i already had a few from the season. after that i wondered through the main area and listened to some of the panel sessions. after that and wondering around, i got in line for my autograph sessions. last year, when they signed JJ Hardy, i became a big fan of his. he’s my style of player and definitely one this team needs so i wanted to get his autograph. at that station was reimold, hardy, larry sheets, and rick dempsey. i asked rick when he was putting out his next CD. he wasn’t sure yet, LOL.
at the same time slot, i got another ticket to what was supposed to be kevin gregg, jim palmer, and adam jones. gregg had to back out last minute according to @birlandinsider. i asked palmer why he had written his name on the table and he explained to me that one was his signature in 1965 and the other was current. apparently the new one is better for the wrist. it wasn’t as crisp and easy to read so i guess that’s why. darren o’day, who i am not 100% sure who he is yet told me he liked my party hardy t-shirt. he was a recent addition to the team. jones was my final autograph. i had actually gotten his autograph a few years ago at a wendy’s when they were taking players out into the community so it was good to see him again. even talked to him about @baltimoretom per his request. haha.
after taking a spin around the event again, i headed out. i passed on the clubhouse tour this time since my foot was bothering me. it hurts if i stand on it for too long and has for a couple years now but the day was worth it. probably should get it looked at sometime soon. maybe before the next fanfest. hope everyone else that went had a great time too!
well, i finally got around to downloading the photos and looking threw them. there are a couple from a trip to salisbury to see the shorebirds on july 1st and a great shot of the fireworks at the orioles game last week.
the fireworks is probably one of my favorite fireworks photos to date and i took some nice ones on the 4th of july as well! maybe i will post them later.
for those who haven’t been to a minor league stadium, and this was my first trip in a long time, it is generally a great experience. lots of fan interaction and lots going on at the game. the stadiums are smaller and don’t necessarily have the most comfortable seats, but are still enjoyable.
the other picture on the right is of the delmarva shorebirds first baseman, mike flacco (brother of joe flacco, raven’s QB if you didn’t know). he has been hitting clean up for the shorebirds this season and seems to be making strides on improving his game.