BOSTON - The Orioles will experience their third opening day of the 2013 season this afternoon when they arrive at Fenway Park to begin a three-game series against the Red Sox.
Boston's record streak of 793 regular-season sellouts dating back to May 15, 2003 is expected to end this month, and quite possibly in this series. Today's game is sold out, but Wednesday could be a different story.
The streak's legitimacy has been questioned many times in the past, including by the locals. Time to lay it to rest.
We should find out more about reliever Luis Ayala's dizziness, which delayed his arrival in Boston. Delayed, but not denied.
In a funny twist to the story, Ayala and his family ended up on the same Southwest flight as myself and two other reporters who cover the team. Somehow, he boarded ahead of me.
We also should know whether Nolan Reimold is available to play after leaving yesterday's game with a tight hamstring.
Reimold sounded confident that he would be able to play today. If so, it would be as the designated hitter, with Nate McLouth in left field. The Red Sox are starting right-hander Clay Buchholz.
It's more likely that manager Buck Showalter sits Reimold as a precaution, but that's just a hunch.
Yamaico Navarro will hang out and wait. He's in Boston, as I reported yesterday, and on standby.
J.J. Hardy is 6-for-13 with two homers lifetime against Buchholz. Nick Markakis is 4-for-31. Both of them will be in the lineup.
Wei-Yin Chen is starting today for the Orioles. He made three starts against the Red Sox as a rookie, going 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA. He allowed five earned runs (six total) and 21 hits in 18 innings.
Will Middlebrooks is 3-for-6 against him.
Note: The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation is hosting a baseball roundtable discussion and luncheon with local sports media members on Tuesday, April 16 from noon-1:30 p.m. at Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards.
The panel will consist of myself, Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com, Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun and Steve Davis of 105.7 The Fan. We'll provide insight - at least, that's what we're supposed to do if we get to eat for free - make predictions on the 2013 season and take questions from members of the audience.
"With the Orioles coming off of such a successful 2012 season, the roundtable is a great opportunity for O's fans to gather and discuss not only the excitement of the team's playoff push last year, but also what the team has accomplished in Sarasota during spring training," said Mike Gibbons, executive director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation. "We look forward to welcoming some of the biggest names in Baltimore sports media to Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards to kick off the Orioles' 2013 season."
Tickets for the program are $25 and include admission to Sports Legends Museum, lunch provided by Domino's Pizza during the program and a replica 1914 Babe Ruth Rookie Card, which features Ruth as a member of the Orioles of the International League.
To order tickets, contact Whitney Edmonds at WhitneyE@BabeRuthMuseum.com or 410-727-1539, ext. 3033.