Everybody likes a winner: Successful 2012 pays O’s dividends

In 2012, the Orioles had their highest attendance per game in five seasons, due in large part to their position in the standings (Baltimore Sun Photo).

Before the 2012 season, the attendance at Oriole Park at Camden Yards was on a steady decline. Attendance had decreased 11 out of the last 15 seasons for the Baltimore Orioles.

According to Baseball-reference.com, the Orioles drew 2,102,240 fans in 2012, an increase of more than 350,000 fans from 2011. Granted when you divide it up, that’s an increase of just more than 4,600 fans a game.

Kevin Cowherd of the Baltimore Sun criticized the attendance on the night of Aug. 27. In a game where the Orioles trailed the New York Yankees by 3 1/2 games in the AL East — the announced crowd was 10,995.

It’s understandable that after a few years of unexpected success through May, only to collapse in June or July, that O’s fans may have been hesitant to fully invest in the 2012 birds.

Continue reading

Full Squad Report Day

February 14, Valentine’s Day, typically a day most men dread and most women love (pun intended).

This year, everyone can enjoy Valentine’s Day because it’s also the day full MLB squads report to Spring Training.

Some players, such as J.J. Hardy, reported before the Feb. 14 deadline.

Dan Duquette on his 2013 Orioles in an interview with Orioles.com:

“We have some things we can build on, because we had a good year last year, but this is 2013,” Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said. “This is a new group of players. This is a new season. We have new challenges. This is effectively a new team, but I can tell you this: The consistency of the leadership from the manager and the work ethic of the players instilled last year, that should carry over.”

Opening Day for the Baltimore Orioles is April 2, just 47 days away. Over the course of the next 7 weeks the Orioles will attempt to answer two important questions, who will be playing second base and what the starting rotation will look like come April.

Continue reading

The Orioles and the World Baseball Classic

This baseball season will “officially” begin with the start of the World Baseball Classic, an international tournament first played in 2006 and then again in 2009, after which was scheduled to occur every 4 years.

The 2013 World Baseball Classic rosters will feature nine representatives of the Baltimore Orioles: 4 from the big league roster, Adam Jones (USA), Luis Ayala (Mexico), Pedro Strop (Dominican Republic), Jonathan Schoop (Netherlands) and 5 players within the organization, Chris Robinson (Canada), Tim Smith (Canada),  Allan de San Miguel (Australia), Rafael Moreno (Brazil), and Jonatan Isenia (Netherlands).

Jones, an active tweeter on the O’s, expressed his excitment to play back in January.


This year will be the first year in which the World Baseball Classic is the sole international tournament to declare a “world champion.” The Olympics removed baseball in 2008 and the Baseball World Cup was discontinued in 2011 in an attempt to expand the World Baseball Classic.

Jones was a key figure in 2012, the O’s first winning season since 1997. (Photo from Masnsports.com)

Jones, a 27-year old from San Diego, will play for Joe Torre and team USA. Fresh off an impressive 2012 season in which Jones was selected to the American League All-Star team, won his second career Gold Glove and ranked sixth in AL MVP voting, Jones should be a regular contributor in the US roster.

One of the biggest concerns for MLB, players, coachers and fans is the timing of the WBC.

Timing seems to be the biggest issue regarding international baseball tournaments. The MLB season virtually lasts from mid-February to late October (and sometimes early November), meaning there is little if no time for a tournament after the World Series.

The concern with the WBC is injuries to players that might not only eliminate the player from the tournament, but also force them to miss time when the MLB season begins. Some have expressed this concern, while others encourage him to take advantage of the opportunity.

The World Baseball Classic’s first round begins on March 2 in Fukuoka, Japan and Taichung, Taiwan. The United States will open play against Mexico on March 8. And the tournament will be broadcasted exclusively on MLB Network.