The 2017 Royals dealt with the same problems in the final year of their competitive window as this year's Orioles have. "It's almost like the last year of high school," Kansas City pitcher Jason Hammel said.
Journeyman jockey Jorge Vargas Jr., riding his first full meet in Maryland, and Claudio Gonzalez, the state's leading trainer in 2017, were crowned meet champions on the closing day of Laurel Park's 60-day winter-spring stand Sunday.
The Orioles have signed pitchers late in spring training before, as they did with Ubaldo Jiménez and Yovani Gallardo. But there's little precedent for getting a pitcher ready who signs as late as they're about to bring in Alex Cobb.
Opening Day is almost here. Every team gets a fresh start. No dream is outlandish. The O’s could — could — make it to the World Series! Whatever the final standings, I’m going to enjoy the season, because I love the game and appreciate more and more its timeless rituals.
Orioles left-hander Richard Bleier became one of the game's most successful and consistent relievers with a sneaky sinker in 2017. It might seem hard to envision more in spring training, but manager Buck Showalter wants more of the same.