It feels like 80 degrees in the sun and 12-below in shaded press row. This is such a quaint place, and that's probably the only time you'll find me using that word, but it can be murder on the two teams. The dugouts aren't covered. They're just three benches in a shallow pit with a short crooked fence in front. Line drives can be lethal. Players are practically on top of home plate, and spectators are on top of them. If Desi Relaford has a crazed fan, he's in serious trouble.

Here's your lineup for today's game against the Dodgers:


David Newhan - RF

Corey Patterson - CF

Desi Relaford - SS

Melvin Mora - DH

Nick Markakis - LF

Napoleon Calzado - 3B

Val Majewski - 1B

Chris Gomez - 2B

Eli Whiteside - C

And your starting pitcher: Left-hander Eric DuBose.

The Dodgers' lineup includes Kenny Lofton, a player the Orioles targeted during the winter. Also starting are Nomar Garciaparra, J.D. Drew, Jeff Kent, Bill Mueller and Sandy Alomar Jr. Chad Billingsley is pitching, which is going to make at least one reader very happy. Didn't I get asked about Billingsley when the Dodgers were in Fort Lauderdale? I'll let you know how he looks.

Brian Roberts is scheduled to take batting practice today. The real kind. The only difference is he'll be kept separate from the rest of the team, so he can go at his own pace and focus.

Manager Sam Perlozzo received reports from head trainer Richie Bancells on the Orioles who played in the World Baseball Classic yesterday. Catcher Ramon Hernandez was hit in the hand, but he's OK, according to the team.

Perlozzo seems pretty content with the right side of his bullpen, especially once Todd Williams returns. It's the left side that has him a bit worried. This is an important appearance for Eric DuBose. Though it's only the seventh exhibition game, he could ease some concerns. Another left-hander, Franklyn Gracesqui, also is slated to pitch. The door's wide open, Franklyn. Time to storm through it. Just don't slam it on your fingers.


Perlozzo still favors a 12-man pitching staff at this point. The challenge is finding seven relievers who deserve to go north. He might have to settle for keeping only two left-handers, which he's willing to do. And team officials are keeping close tabs on lefties in other organizations who might become available.

Anyone seen Sparky Lyle lately?