We’re getting close to the start of the opening day ceremonies. Batting practice is over, and starting pitcher Jake Arrieta has snapped his last photograph.
Yes, Arrieta stood on the field during BP with a camera around his neck. I’d say he’s pretty relaxed.
Here’s manager Buck Showalter on whether he initially had concerns about Nick Markakis’ availability for opening day after the right fielder underwent abdominal surgery in January:
“A little bit. We had to do it a little later on in the offseason, but knowing Nick and knowing our trainers and the work that they would do to get back, maybe with somebody else I might’ve been more concerned. But it’s pretty easy to read his face and tell how he feels. I know the first probably week to 10 days of spring training, he was a little uneasy about how he was feeling. It was just uncharted territory for him, going down that long of a period.
“If he has a great season, we all know Nick’s going to get there about March 10 next year, which might be right. I hope that happens. But he did the work. There was a lot of work. I saw it a lot in the offseason and early and late. It was very tempting for me to push the schedule up a couple times. It’s hard to fight that lure. I saw a nice day and, ‘It would be a good day for him to DH here. He can catch up.’ Every time, I just kind of said, ‘You know what? Let’s trust it.’ And I’m glad I did.”
Here’s Showalter on whether he’s optimistic that Brian Roberts will return to the lineup:
“I’ve always been optimistic about that for the most part. Just like him, probably some days more than others. But it’s just uncharted territory. To sit here and try and critique it, and this and that, I would’ve taken where he is now. He’s another guy who you see his countenance and know what’s going on with him.
“I think we all know what it would mean to our club if he could come back and play like Brian’s capable. I don’t walk by him every day and say, ‘How are you feeling? What do you want to do next?’ That’s just not productive to him getting where he wants to get or where we want him to get. I trust him. He’ll tell us. The doctors will tell us. It’ll be very easy to sit out there and watch him running around and doing the things he’s doing.
“I’ve got an idea in the back of my head, talking to him about dates and stuff. But I don’t want him thinking, ‘If I’m not doing X on X date that something’s wrong or bad.’ I just want him when he gets back to be right, as much from a human being standpoint and husband, potential father. There’s life, too. Baseball’s very important to him and us, but there’s other aspects to him, too.”
Roberts took infield today wearing a batting helmet. He won’t run down the orange carpet.
An Orioles’ fun-fact: Pitching coach Rick Adair’s first major league coaching job came in 1992 with the Indians, so he was here 20 years ago for the first game at Camden Yards.
Update: Kevin Gregg was booed as he jogged down the orange carpet. The only player to be greeted in a negative manner. A little uncomfortable.