Sports columnist Peter Schmuck and Orioles beat writer Eduardo Encina on latest news from Orioles spring training in Sarasota, Fla. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
A lot of the Orioles' position players are already working out at the Ed Smith Stadium spring training complex, even though the first official full-squad workout is not until next week.
So far, the group of position players in camp includes Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, Steve Pearce, Ryan Flaherty, Jonathan Schoop, David Lough and Henry Urrutia, as well as newcomers Travis Snider and Chris Parmelee.
That would have been unusual a few years ago, but a combination of factors have conspired to encourage the players to show up early -- among them, no doubt, the record snowfalls and bone-chilling temperatures around the country.
Blame it on climate change if you want, but there's also the small matter of the working conditions in Sarasota in comparison to the Orioles' former training site in Fort Lauderdale. That facility was so old, run-down and inadequate that it didn't even feel like a major league environment. The Ed Smith complex is so luxurious and comfortable that the players can't wait to get here.
The permanence of the site also plays a role, since a lot of Orioles have purchased homes in the area, and the emphasis manager Buck Showalter places on everyone working so closely together also is a big factor.
Lest anyone in Baltimore get too envious, the weather down here hasn't really warmed up yet. The temperature during Thursday's morning workout was about 50 degrees, minus substantial wind chill.