I’m currently on the Amtrak heading home from New York. I’ve slept in my own bed for just two nights since Feb. 10, so heading back to Baltimore for the Orioles’ nine-game homestand will be a welcome change.
The Orioles played nine of their first 12 games on the road, opening the season in Tampa Bay before this week’s road trip to Boston and New York. So they’ve only been home for three games since the beginning of spring training.
During the opening two weeks of the season, the Orioles have also played games at five different start times and played in three Opening Day games, which has prevented them from setting up any sense of routine after a spring training full of early afternoon games.
“I think just from getting on a schedule and on a clock it’s been a challenge,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s been a challenge and with the WBC and all the things that have kind of been discombobulated with the schedule.
“I’ve been proud with the way they’ve handled it, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to go home and play better or worse. It’s more just getting your life in order a little bit. I think everybody is looking forward to some type of schedule if there’s such a thing in baseball. I don’t hear our guys complaining about it. It’s just a part of the job description.”
The Orioles come out of this stretch 6-6, which isn’t particularly great, but considering they earned series wins in Tampa Bay and Boston, it will do.
But now that the Orioles come home to face the Rays, Dodgers and Blue Jays, it doesn’t mean that everything is rosy. Keep in mind that last year’s Orioles team flourished on the road, leading the American League with 46 wins away from Camden Yards.
“Our guys would like to be 12-0,” Showalter said. “And believe me, I know that sounds cliché-ish. Does it mean that now everything’s going to be OK and we’re going to win all of our games at home? No, it doesn’t mean anything.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier following this homestand, as the Orioles head west for 11 games in 11 days in Seattle, Oakland and Anaheim that takes them through the first weekend in May.
“I bet you can go into any clubhouse and they’ll tell you that there’s some part of the schedule that’s really challenging,” he added. “When we get through with this, we’re going to head out to the West Coast with no off day. What are you gonna do? Quit? It’s one of the separators that’s different about our game that any other one.”Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times