New owners for Baysox and Keys, left field construction pics and more

In a transaction that took effect on Jan. 1, 2022, the Orioles' Double-A Bowie affiliate has a new owner. So does a former O's affiliate, the Frederick Keys.

Attain Sports and Entertainment - Maryland Baseball, LLC announced that it has purchased the Bowie Baysox and Frederick Keys of the MLB Draft League. Led by owners Greg Baroni, CEO and principal general partner, and Richard Roberts, president and general partner, Attain Sports and Entertainment's mission is to present baseball as affordable family entertainment with a commitment to community engagement, customer service, innovation and the professional development of its employees, according to a press release to announce the news.

Bowie-2021-Championship-Series-Logo-Grass-Sidebar.jpgBaseball fans and respected members of the consulting and technology industries, Baroni and Roberts are dedicated to investing in both the Baysox and the Keys to include increased community outreach, stadium enhancements, and a focus on the fan experience per the announcement.

"As a Maryland resident of more than 30 years, I have deep roots in the region and am excited by the opportunity to bring next-level baseball experiences to our area," said Baroni. "Throughout my career, I've had a passion for building great teams, and this is a natural extension of that focus. The Baysox and Keys offer a pipeline opportunity to the major leagues and continue the tradition of providing quality entertainment to families and communities. It's about building teams and serving the players and fans, and that resonates with me."

Lester moves on: Left-hander Jon Lester retired from baseball this week after going 200-117 with a 3.66 ERA over 16 seasons for five teams. He was a free agent this winter, but won't be playing in 2022 or beyond. He spent most of his first nine years pitching with the Boston Red Sox, where he went 110-63 with a 3.64 ERA, and he made 241 of his 451 career starts with Boston.

That was where he spent a lot of time beating the Orioles. During his run with Boston, where he last pitched in 2014, he went 15-5 with a 3.09 ERA over 29 career games against the Orioles.

Lester went 7-6 with a 4.71 ERA in 28 starts last season between the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals. The Nats signed him before last season to a one-year deal for $5 million. He went 3-5 with a 5.02 ERA and 1.593 WHIP in 16 starts for them. Washington traded him to St. Louis and he went 4-1 with a 4.36 ERA and 1.424 WHIP with the Cardinals. He has gone 23-19 with an ERA of 4.67 in 71 starts over the past three seasons.

That is respectable, and while he might have had more to offer any team, you have to respect his retirement decision this week.

The left field construction: The Orioles released some pictures yesterday of the left field construction now underway at Camden Yards. Fans have been responding with an amazing level of interest in the changes. There are a lot of questions about moving the outfield fences back and some answers may be forthcoming today when we hear about this project from O's executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias.

In the meantime, here are some photos and video I posted on my Twitter last night.

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