Word began trickling to players in the dugouts during today’s workout and simulated game at Camden Yards. Their start time on Saturday. A resolution to the concert conflict.
Game 1 of the American League Division Series begins at 1 p.m. at Camden Yards, six hours before music legends Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks perform at M&T Bank Stadium.
The only way to handle huge crowds and shared parking lots.
One player wondered about Sunday’s Game 2, checking with a reporter for further information. Major League Baseball hasn’t divulged any other start times.
The Orioles don’t know whether they’re facing the Rangers or Rays, with the former winning yesterday in the best-of-three Wild Card Series.
FOX or FS1 will broadcast the game, knowing that it would be the early telecast. FOX is slated to show the Maryland at Ohio State football game, which seems to make FS1 the choice.
Other news was scarce again this afternoon. Fans were allowed inside the ballpark and brought a playoff vibe, cheering throughout and chanting “Let’s Go O’s” after the final out of a simulated game that featured eight pitchers.
“That was super cool,” manager Brandon Hyde said of the large turnout. “What a great idea, and we’re really appreciative of all the fans that came out. I wasn’t expecting this, and it shows you how incredible Orioles fans are. They were energetic and into it, and our players appreciated.”
Dean Kremer worked the equivalent of two innings. A plate umpire was used, and catcher Anthony Bemboom shook his hand at the conclusion.
“It’s important for our bullpen guys especially to get 15 or so pitches,” Hyde said. “Just trying to keep these guys as sharp as possible. It’s good for our hitters to have some live at-bats, see some velocity.
“It’s a weird situation having this many days off, so we’re going to do some more stuff similar to this tomorrow. More pitchers will throw. The speed of the game obviously is not quite the same, but we wanted to make sure that they’re as sharp as possible going into Saturday.”
Hyde moved from his seat down the first base line, where he sat with executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias, to the visiting dugout for a 10-minute media session. He didn’t offer much beyond the broader-range topics. Sound bites for television and radio.
The Orioles aren’t prepared to name their Game 1 starter, though Kyle Bradish is expected to take the ball. Details on the roster remain on hold until they know the identity of their opponent.
“Nothing right now,” Hyde said. “We’re watching these Wild Card games and we’re seeing who we’re going to play, and once we know and where, we’ll figure out our roster from there.”
That includes whether to carry 13 or fewer pitchers.
Anthony Santander doubled off Kremer in the first inning but didn’t score because right fielder Aaron Hicks made a sliding catch in right field. Santander delivered an RBI double off Tyler Wells in the last frame after Ramón Urías singled.
Jordan Westburg singled off Kremer and Cionel Pérez. Adley Rutschman drew a walk against Yennier Cano – of course he did – and Hicks also walked. Cedric Mullins singled off Kremer and had a run-scoring grounder off Jack Flaherty after Ryan O’Hearn walked.
Jacob Webb allowed a single to Adam Frazier but struck out Gunnar Henderson.
Danny Coulombe and DL Hall also pitched and looked like they’re ready for the postseason.
Everyone is ready.
“I think our guys are kind of made for the moment,” Hyde said.
The Ravens announced the Joel/Nicks concert date in January, perhaps assuming that there wouldn’t be a playoff conflict with the Orioles, who hadn’t participated since 2016 in Toronto. The last postseason game in Baltimore was held in 2014.
Clarity on Saturday arrived earlier today, and the rest is pending. But the moment is coming.
"We're in position now where (a championship) is very visible, it's very possible, it's right in front of us, and all we have to do is go out and take it," Mullins said. "It's not going to be easy. There are going to be tough moments and we're going to have to come through at certain spots, but the confidence that we have in this team, we're going to find a way to do it."