TAMPA - The Yankees observed a moment of silence tonight for Monica Pence Barlow, just as the Red Sox did Sunday in Fort Myers.
I would expect the Twins to do the same Wednesday night at their facility in Fort Myers.
The Orioles began the game with back-to-back singles by David Lough and Jemile Weeks, but former Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts fielded Delmon Young’s grounder and started a 4-6-3 double play.
Earlier today, Roberts met with the Baltimore media in the Yankees dugout and talked about making the transition to a new team.
“It’s been 15 years, so of course it feels weird,” he said. “Anywhere would have felt weird. It wouldn’t have mattered where it was, but it’s part of the business at some point. I’m just trying to move on. Hopefully, it works out well for everybody.
“It’s different. I’m used to walking down the halls and knowing everybody’s name. Now. I’m trying to learn a name a day or something. It’s different. As I said, it’s kind of part of life sometimes. I’m getting acclimated pretty well, enjoying it, so it’s kind of where we are right now.”
Here’s more from Roberts:
Did you hear from teammates when you signed?
“Some of those guys are some of my best friends in the world. A lot of really, really good friends over there. I was talking with them long before I signed anywhere else, and I still talk to them all the time. That won’t change. They will still be my best friends in the world, most of them. It’s just six months I won’t be on their team.”
Does he have anything to prove to his new teammates?
“I’ve said all along I’ve never really played to prove anybody wrong. I’ve never played for that reason. I honestly want a chance to be healthy and get on the field and play. The rest will take care of itself, whatever that is. I’m just trying to relish the opportunity that I have, and hopefully trying to be a part of a team that does something fun and special.”
Is he angry at the Orioles?
“No, no. I had 15 incredible years of my life there. Why would I be angry? There is no point in living that way. I’m grateful and thankful for every day that I had there. At some point, it was going to come to an end, whether it was you had to retire. Very few guys get to do what Derek (Jeter) does and walk in and say, ‘I’m done on my own terms.’ I think probably one percent of the world gets to do that, so I’m not angry. That organization, and that team and our fans and the city have been great to me and my family and I have nothing but praise for every one of them.”
Is he disappointed that the Orioles didn’t make an offer?
“It’s hard to really sum up all the emotions that went into it. Sure, in some way, you might be, but at the same time you understand it’s a business. I knew going into the offseason it was a possibility, and I told everyone I was fine with it if that was the case. I don’t know all the circumstances behind it. Did I want to spend my entire career there? Sure, that probably would have been my number one choice. But that doesn’t always work out.”
How closely has he been watching them?
“I don’t read a whole lot of papers and MLB all the time. I know the guys they added in spring training. I couldn’t tell you everybody on their 40-man roster, but I think we all pay attention to an extent to know what’s going on in our division and know what’s going on in baseball. The last two additions they’ve made have been great for them. There’s no doubt that they’re going to be a very good team. I think that does nothing but good things for our division, and obviously, I want nothing but good things for them as long as we can play each other in the American League Championship Series.”
Will he live in Baltimore after he’s done playing baseball?
“I don’t have any idea what my post-baseball plans are. If I had retired I would have thought a lot more about it. I’ve got 162 games ahead of me, so the last thing I’m going to worry about is where I’m going to live when I’m down or what I’m going to do when I’m done. Will Baltimore always be part of my home? For sure. I don’t think anybody moves from someplace after being there for a long time and putting your heart and soul in a place. I think that will always be the case.”
What does he think of the Orioles?
“They’re going to be extremely good. I think everybody knows that. You look at their lineup one through nine, there isn’t going to be anyone better. They have the capability just like several other teams do. I don’t think anybody in our locker room or any locker room around baseball takes the Orioles for granted, which is great for baseball and great for the city of Baltimore.”
How does Roberts think he will be received by Orioles fans when the Yankees visit in July?
“I have no idea. I’m not expecting anything and I’m not going to bring myself to have any big buildup over whether they boo me out of the place or they like me. All I can say is I gave it all I had every day and if they respect that and they like that, great. And if they didn’t, I feel bad if they think I didn’t do that.”
Game update: Wei-Yin Chen allowed two runs and five hits, all in the second inning.
Chen served up a two-out, solo homer to Francisco Cervelli, and the Yankees strung together three straight singles - the last by No. 9 hitter Yangervis Solarte - for another run. A few seeing-eye hits in the inning.
Chen threw 43 pitches, 25 for strikes.
David Lough is 2-for-2 with a single and triple from the leadoff spot, and he scored in the third inning on Jemile Weeks’ bouncer to short.
The Orioles put runners on second and third with no outs in the second inning and failed to score. Steve Pearce reached on an infield single and Ryan Flaherty doubled for his first hit of the spring.