Let's get it started

Let's get it started
The first loud ovation during pre-game introductions was reserved for young pitcher Brian Matusz as he jogged down the orange carpet. He's already a fan favorite after nine major league starts. Matt Wieters gave him a run for his money as the starters were introduced. You want loud? Just call out Brooks Robinson's name and bring him out of the dugout. Miguel Tejada caught the ceremonial first pitch from Brooks. Garrett Atkins set the target for Boog Powell. Always nice to be reminded of...
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Still talking baseball

Still talking baseball
Before I move on to the next subject, I wanted to thank everyone for the kind words and encouragement regarding my spring training coverage and color analyst debut on MASN. I'm probably one-and-done with the TV gig, but I had a good time. And I was very fortunate to work with so many professionals, and friends, who bring each telecast to life. The behind-the-scenes work is truly amazing to me. The seamless transitions from one topic to the next, matching up with the images and graphics on...
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Pre-game chatter (w/Jays lineup)

Pre-game chatter (w/Jays lineup)
The Orioles are taking batting practice, many of them wearing their black long-sleeve pullovers. I'm afraid to borrow one, but it's crossed my mind. Manager Dave Trembley is hitting grounders to Julio Lugo at shortstop, making him range into the hole to backhand the ball. Ty Wigginton is getting some work at third base. Trembley began his 11:30 a.m. media session by saying "Welcome to Opening Day at Camden Yards. We've been looking forward to this day for a long time and I'm sure it'll...
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Orioles lineup

Orioles lineup
Brian Roberts 2B Adam Jones CF Nick Markakis RF Miguel Tejada 3B Luke Scott LF Matt Wieters C Nolan Reimold DH Garrett Atkins 1B Cesar Izturis SS Brad Bergesen RHP Felix Pie will perform baseball-related activities today and is expected to make at least one start in this series. Manager Dave Trembley told reporters that closer Mike Gonzalez is available, but he'd like to give Will Ohman the day off. Mark Hendrickson could serve as the situational lefty. No updates on Koji Uehara. It's...
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Got an ex-wife and kid in Baltimore Jack

Got an ex-wife and kid in Baltimore Jack
I thought I'd never get back. Now that I've gone from the second floor of the Marriott Tampa Airport to my Southwest gate to BWI to my sister's house in Pasadena to Camden Yards, I wanted to fire up the blog for a few seconds from my usual seat in the press box. It's sunny and...cold. What happpened to that 90-degree weather I kept hearing about this week? Manager Dave Trembley will meet with reporters in about an hour. I'll post the lineup as soon as I get my hands on it. It should...
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Wrapping it up

Wrapping it up
Oh yeah, right, I have a blog. They're shooting off fireworks inside Tropicana Field, so I'm typing as fast as I can before I'm unable to see my laptop through the smoke. These people know this place has a roof on it, right? Brian Matusz walked three batters in spring training. He walked the bases loaded in the third inning tonight. Not a typical performance, but good enough to get the win. Amber Theoharis interviews Brian Matusz about his outing in the O's 5-4 win "I can't remember...
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Pre-game notes

Pre-game notes
Manager Dave Trembley will write Brian Roberts' name in the lineup again tomorrow for the home opener. Roberts told Trembley that he wanted to play tonight and is ready to go. Look for him to sit during one of the weekend games. Roberts is 0-for-10 after two games. "He's had some good at-bats, seen a lot of pitches, fouled off a lot of pitches, worked the count," Trembley said. "The hits haven't fallen in for him. I'm sure he's not where he wants to be, simply because he didn't...
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Quick injury updates

Quick injury updates
Reliever Jim Johnson threw in the bullpen today and pronounced himself ready to pitch. "Everything went fine," he said."My arm feels good. I'll be in there." Johnson had some swelling in his right elbow caused by a slight muscle strain. "It's something I haven't really had before," he said. "It's just muscular, nothing with a ligament. The meds and ice worked. Pretty much Advil and ice. So we're good." Outfielder Felix Pie will attempt to throw today and is available to...
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Orioles lineup

Orioles lineup
Brian Roberts 2B Adam Jones CF Nick Markakis RF Miguel Tejada 3B Luke Scott LF Matt Wieters C Nolan Reimold DH Garrett Atkins 1B Julio Lugo SS Brian Matusz LHP
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My to-do list

My to-do list
While prepping for tonight's MASN broadcast, I'll also need to check on left fielder Felix Pie and find out whether he's close to getting back in the lineup. We haven't seen one posted up here in the press box, so I'll have to wait until the clubhouse opens to the media at 3:40 p.m. If Pie isn't in left tonight, and it would be a shocker if his shoulder allowed it, Nolan Reimold or Luke Scott figure to take his place. Reimold couldn't get to two balls in the gap last night, but I...
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Kubatko the reliever

Kubatko the reliever
It isn't often that I get the chance to replace a Hall of Famer, but Jim Palmer got the hook today and I'm coming in from the bullpen. And there isn't much time to warm up. Let me explain. Palmer is dealing with a bad chest cold and won't be joining play-by-play man Jim Hunter tonight in the MASN broadcast booth. Somebody has to fill his seat, if not his shoes. That would be me. All I ask is that you go easy on me. I don't know how many innings I'm working and I don't know exactly...
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Matusz the stopper

Matusz the stopper
Brian Matusz retained his rookie status this season. Now he needs to become the stopper in the opening series of 2010. Is there anything else he can do for us? Is he taking lunch orders, too? Matusz will try to block the Rays' attempts to post a three-game sweep, which would make that early-morning arrival into BWI tomorrow seem even more cruel. He's pitched once at Tropicana Field and won, though he allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and didn't issue...
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Your morning bowl of Wieters

Your morning bowl of Wieters
The pitching staff belongs to Matt Wieters. That's what we were told while given the explanation for Chad Moeller losing his job as the Orioles' backup catcher. Moeller wasn't needed to mentor the staff. Wieters is in control. He owns it. And he has the receipt in his wallet if you don't believe him. With these words still swimming in my head, I watched Wieters go to the mound twice last night in the fourth inning, as the Rays mounted a rally that produced one run, but could have busted...
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More post-game chatter

More post-game chatter
Orioles manager Dave Trembley was encouraged by Jeremy Guthrie's outing tonight. Very encouraged. "The story for us is the way Guthrie pitched," Trembley said. "That's Guthrie of 2008 right there. He pitched a great game. Located, pitched down, was aggressive with his pitches. You liked the way he pitched and he'll win a lot of games if he continues to go out there like that. "If you see his arm angle, his arm angle is back to the way it was in 2008. If you saw him last year, he was...
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Reimold talks about the Longoria double

Reimold talks about the Longoria double
Nolan Reimold said he didn't have a chance to catch Evan Longoria's fly ball that fell in left-center field for a crucial two-run double in the fifth. "It was placed pretty well," he said. "It was like 10 feet out of my reach or so, five or 10 feet, somewhere in there. It was just hit in one of those spots. Tough to get to." Reimold said he felt fine running on the turf. "Nothing unexpected," he said. He did concede that he lacks that initial burst since undergoing surgery on his...
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No J.J.

No J.J.
Reliever Jim Johnson wasn't available tonight because of some tightness in his right arm. "He told me before the game," manager Dave Trembley said. Cla Meredith replaced Will Ohman in the bottom of the eighth and gave up Evan Longoria's home run on his second pitch. Johnson retired the side in order last night, plowing through the heart of the Rays' order and handing a one-run lead to closer Mike Gonzalez. I'll check on his availability tomorrow. He was missed tonight.
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Tampa Bay 4, Orioles 3

Tampa Bay 4, Orioles 3
You can't complain about manager Dave Trembley not using his bench tonight. Felix Pie pinch-ran for Garrett Atkins, whose double with one out in the ninth scored Matt Wieters to reduce Tampa Bay's lead to 4-3. Ty Wigginton pinch-hit for the next batter, Cesar Izturis, and grounded to short. Brian Roberts flied out on the first pitch he saw from closer Rafael Soriano. Another tough loss, though not quite as big a kick in the gut as last night's ending. Here are the RSS links that a few...
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What's Guthrie's line? (updated)

What's Guthrie's line? (updated)
Jeremy Guthrie was charged with three runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked two, struck out six and threw 59 of his 95 pitches for strikes. The guy who led the American League in home runs allowed kept the ball out of the seats tonight, but Evan Longoria's two-run double with two outs in the fifth gave Tampa Bay the lead. Will Ohman replaced Guthrie with Reid Brignac on first base and one out in the seventh. Plate umpire Kerwin Danley ruled that Carl Crawford didn't check his...
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Most popular question in the press box

Most popular question in the press box
"Would Pie have caught that?" Each time Nolan Reimold fails to run down a fly ball in left-center field, a reporter will turn to the guy next to him and bring up Felix Pie's name. Pie has the speed to catch up to Evan Longoria's ball in the fifth that fell for a two-run double, giving Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead. That doesn't mean he would have made the play. We'll never know. But he certainly has the wheels. It wouldn't matter if they were flat. He'll remain in the garage until his...
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Getting defensive

Getting defensive
Miguel Tejada looks like he's been playing third base his entire baseball life. Tejada made another sliding stop and throw to retire Evan Longoria in the second inning, again displaying quick reflexes while preventing the ball from handcuffing him. And he turned a 5-3 double play to end the inning on Pat Burrell's broken-bat shot to third. Tejada made the right choice in racing to the bag rather than throwing to second base and trying to start a 5-4-3 double play. He's still got a cannon...
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