SARASOTA, Fla. (WJZ) — We’re a little more than three weeks away from Opening Day, and the Orioles know the fans are expecting a big season from them.
Mark Viviano reports.
Hundreds of miles south of Camden Yards, the Orioles prepare for the upcoming season on quiet backfields, knowing that, in a few weeks, they will be playing in a packed stadium in front of fans who have grown to expect success.
With winning records the past two seasons, the O’s have raised expectations among themselves and their fans.
“It’s added some fuel to our fire and it’s made us want to play better,” outfielder Adam Jones said. “Our own crowd the last couple of years, they’ve been unbelievable.”
Truly unbelievable would be a World Series run for these Orioles. This year, they’ve added Nelson Cruz, who played in two World Series with Texas, and Ubaldo Jimenez, who pitched in a World Series with Colorado.
The O’s want to take their fans to that pinnacle in 2014.
“Baltimore, ever since I’ve been here, has been a great baseball town. Even when we weren’t winning, it was still a great baseball town. It’s a town with baseball fans that deserve a winner, and they’ll support a winner,” catcher Matt Wieters said. “As players, you want somebody that’s going to be behind you in the stadium. And I think ever since 2012, we realize if we’re there every year, they’re going to be packing the stadium.”
“It was really cool for me to experience it last year. My first home start, that was when I kind of realized, ‘Hey, this is pretty cool. This is the way a baseball atmosphere is supposed to be like,'” pitcher Kevin Gausman said.
The baseball atmosphere in Sarasota is mostly laid back–what the Orioles hope is the calm before the storm–as they plan to make a lot of noise in 2014.
The O’s defeated the Phillies Friday 15-4 in Sarasota. The birds have won five of their seven spring training games.
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