The seams on a baseball will be traded in later tonight for the laces on a pigskin.
The Orioles will be wearing football jerseys from their favorite teams as they board tonight’s charter flight to Detroit, a team bonding activity that brings out the kid in everyone.
Richie Martin walked into the clubhouse donning a Barry Sanders’ No. 20 Lions jersey. Richard Bleier brought his Rocky Bleier No. 20 Steelers jersey. Dwight Smith Jr. hung a Julio Jones No. 11 Falcons jersey in his locker.
John Means is repping his hometown Chiefs, Austin Hays the Dolphins, Mark Trumbo the Bears, Rio Ruiz the Raiders, Branden Kline the Ravens, Chris Davis the Texas Longhorns and Stevie Wilkerson the Clemson Tigers.
Manager Brandon Hyde was scrambling to find a Ravens store in the area and checked multiple sporting goods outlets before settling on a Ray Lewis No. 52 jersey.
The 49ers apparel stayed at his Chicago home.
“Representing the home team,” he said.
“We used to do that. A lot of teams do it. I used to go (Joe) Montana, (Jerry) Rice. (John) Elway one year. Stanford. But I thought it would be appropriate to represent the Ravens.”
Easier said than done.
“I’ll tell you what’s hard to find here are jerseys,” he said. “There were a lot of (Lamar) Jacksons. I knew some guys were already doing that. I was trying to get Ed Reed, couldn’t find Ed Reed anywhere. I found one Derek Carr. A Baker Mayfield that was a medium. I couldn’t find a jersey store here.
“I was having such a problem that I almost had my wife overnight my Montana jersey, but I wanted to represent Baltimore.”
The football theme is a tactic that lessens, at least a little bit, the grind of a long losing season.
“You want guys to feel ... it’s something fun to do,” Hyde said. “I think guys get into it. There’s chatter about what jersey they got. It’s interesting to see who they pick. Just want to keep things light and loose in this six-month season.”
Hyde’s favorite team-building idea came from Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who had everyone wear onesie pajamas on a flight out of Los Angeles. He just happened to pick the August night in 2015 when Jake Arrieta threw a no-hitter.
“We all were in pajamas. I don’t know what website Joe found, but it’s some website that made onesies,” Hyde said.
“From some of our front office members to video guys, everybody on the trip was in a onesie. With the feet, the hood up, the zipper from the crotch all the way up. Everybody.
“I have a framed picture in my house of us at Dodger Stadium that night before we left to take the bus to the plane of everybody in their onesie. Some had trap doors. I think because the night was so special, too. It was a really cool night and then we all got in our pajamas.”
The visual still makes him laugh.
Hyde intends to expand the themes next season. The more creative the better.
“We’re going to increase it next year,” he said. “Next year we’ll have a lot more fun stuff.”
Update: Rich Hill struck out the first two batters in the first inning, but he hit two and walked two, including Hays with the bases loaded.
Update II: Gavin Lux’s two-out bloop RBI single in the second tied the game.
Update III: Pedro Severino led off the fifth with a home run, the first Orioles hit, to break a 1-1 tie.
Update IV: The Dodgers scored three runs in the sixth, only one earned, to take a 4-2 lead. Bundy struck out Russell Martin with the bases loaded and two outs, but two runners crossed the plate on Pedro Severino’s passed ball.