SARASOTA, Fla. -- Clearly, baseball fans and the media who represent
them are hungry for some real news as the exhibition season gets underway,
but it will be a while before what happens on the field really starts to mean much.
Of course, that isn’t going to stop the 24-hour sports news cycle. The top
headline on the ESPN major league baseball page was Stephen Strasburg’s spring
debut, in which he allowed two runs in his first inning of work. Ruben Tejada
hit a two-run homer off the Nationals phenom before Strasburg settled down to
get the next six outs without surrendering another run.
Brewers star Ryan Braun also was high on the headline list with a home run in his first
exhibition at-bat in Arizona and – in memorabilia news – Curt Schilling’s
famous bloody sock went for nearly $93,000 at auction.
Meanwhile, the Orioles head to Dunedin, Fla., today to face the Toronto Blue Jays in their
second Grapefruit League game of the WBC-extended exhibition season. Newcomer
Jair Jurrjens is scheduled to start and pitch just one inning against the retooled
Jays, who appear ready to compete for the AL East title.
The other big subplot for the O’s will likely be the first exhibition appearance of
outfielder Nolan Reimold, who is coming back from extensive neck surgery and
did not make an appearance in Saturday’s exhibition opener at Ed Smith Stadium.
Reimold was listed on the travel roster late Saturday, so he likely will play,
but the lineup hasn’t been released yet.