No place like home

The Orioles are down to their last exhibition game, and their first year at Ed Smith Stadium has been a rousing success at the gates. They’ve drawn 94,405 fans for 14 dates and will exceed 100,000 at a Grapefruit League ballpark for the first time in club history.

The Reds drew 77,758 fans in 15 dates last year before moving their spring home to Arizona.

We’ve had seven sellouts going into today’s game. On four occasions, the Orioles have topped the previous record for highest attendance at a baseball game at Ed Smith Stadium before this year.

“This has been a breath of fresh air and a tremendous experience having spring training here in Sarasota,” manager Dave Trembley said. “What a first-year welcome we got. You couldn’t ask for anything better. I was told today that within a few days after we leave, the building permits have been approved and construction is going to start. It’s just going to be such a great place.

“The people have been very nice. It’s got us through some rough spots here in spring training, with (Brian) Roberts being hurt and Koji (Uehara) being hurt, some of the things that happened in spring training that you don’t foresee. Being here has certainly made up for it. It’s been real nice, a great move, long overdue. Just a different atmosphere, just a much more positive atmosphere. The moods are better, the personalities are better. I don’t know how everybody handled that for so long, where we were. That was awful.”

Here’s the Mets lineup:

Angel Pagan CF
Luis Castillo 2B
David Wright 3B
Jason Bay LF
Jeff Francoeur DH
Fernando Tatis 1B
Gary Matthews Jr. RF
Henry Blanco C
Ruben Tejada SS

Jon Niese LHP

blog comments powered by Disqus