MINNEAPOLIS — It took the Orioles more than a month to announce that the team's April 9 postponed game against the Tampa Bay Rays would be made up as part of a split-admission doubleheader during the Rays' next trip to Camden Yards, on Saturday, June 25.
Players from both the Orioles and Rays preferred to play a single-admission doubleheader that day, but after meeting with Orioles team ownership, the players agreed to have a split-admission doubleheader.
That's obviously a long day for players, compounding some already long days during a season that has included more than three hours of delays at home and four postponements — two at home and two on the road. But after the Orioles players met with ownership, and conferred with the players association, they agreed to play a split-admission doubleheader.
"It's good that we have an open dialogue," said Orioles reliever Darren O'Day, the team's players union rep. "You can sometimes get the perception of ownership, which is inaccurate, so when you sit down and meet face to face with them, it's good. I'm not talking like we lawyered up or anything. We just sat down and talked to them. They explained to us how it helped us. We like to think that we're reasonable, but I think that it worked out for everybody."
In that meeting, according to sources, ownership emphasized the value of having a two gates instead of one, especially given the erratic, cold and stormy weather than has led to small crowds over the season's first five weeks. So instead having two gates on a Saturday during the middle of the summer would help.
Despite fielding a club that is currently atop the American League East, the Orioles are averaging just 21,809 fans per home game, which is the fifth-lowest average attendance in the AL. Twelve of the Orioles' 18 home dates have drawn announced crowds of fewer than 20,000 fans.
Around the horn: First baseman Ji-Man Choi, who was selected by the Los Angeles Angels from the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft was designated for assignment on Wednesday. Choi, who had one hit in 24 plate appearances with Los Angeles, will now go through the waivers and if he clears he can be returned to the Orioles, who have a logjam at first base in their minor league system. … After Wednesday's win, the Orioles are 7-7 on the road this season.