by Eric Garfield
I’ve been told that today is a different schedule than normal at the team’s complex at Twin Lakes. The morning session is for recently checked in pitchers and catchers to meet staff, get physicals and go over their coming season. There is a half day (am session) for the early camp guys and they’ll be back for fieldwork around 1. I’ll be there around then and maybe can squeeze in enough to see to go to the O’s game on the way home. The organization has been so overwhelmingly open-they tell me things like this so I don’t drive out to see nothing. The access and information is out of this world, but we work together and they would rather me not waste my time. If that’s not an indicator of a new way of doing business then maybe you need to examine previous media policies and relationships.
It is hot here today, already approaching 80 before 10am so it’s definitely baseball weather in Sarasota. I’ll have a report with stuff in it sometime this afternoon but just finished a response to Frobby as far as who is ranked too high/too low overall in the system. Preview-I mention Gunnar.
Today was definitely light work but there were drills and even some media there to see the guys including new MASN broadcaster Melanie Newman. I met a pair of guys who do a podcast and they seemed curious so they got the executive tour and some player info. It’s my job to let people know about the progress in the O’s system but these guys knew a bit already and have talked to player development head Matt Blood and came away impressed. I filled in some gaps, complained about how much country music I now know and we got to watch some weighted ball BP and a guy or two on a mound including knuckleballer Mickey Jannis-this time I know it’s him.
The new group of pitchers/catchers is extensive and now it’s back to square one for me as far as ID’ing them. I asked a coach for assistance, he asked me for the same help and I told him I’ll let him know when I learn. Lots and lots of newness.
The group is bigger and tomorrow they’ll be together on the field doing more baseball activities. Another coach told me to look forward to extensive defensive drills then, but not today.
Now I can tell you some more about the podcaster, his name is Joe and his partner was a younger guy, Ryan. Joe is a Yankees supporter and seemed like someone who didn’t hate the O’s but respects the changes and sees them from a non-Orange and Black perspective. Definitely an educated baseball guy and knew his stuff. Sometime soon they’ll have me on and I can tell more people about the positive changes in the minor leagues. Until then, check out the Balancing Sports Podcast, @BalancingP on Twitter. I will always be happy to share what I think with any fan of any team but one thing that I actually mentioned above rang even truer after talking with them. They had tried to contact several teams in FL about doing a camp tour and they got one response that basically said ‘Come on down and check us out-majors and minors’. It was from the Orioles.