BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Optimism is high at the Orioles complex in Sarasota, Florida, as they prepare for the upcoming season.
WJZ sports director Mark Viviano is there among the palm trees and the sunshine.
It’s an upbeat mood all around at the annual warm up for the season ahead, he reports.
The players are happy to be getting back in the “swing,” and fans are getting a rare front row view.
“Spring training means it’s a rebirth,” says Allen File, of Richmond. “It’s a start over, forget last year, let’s start this year, gets your hopes going on for this year and think ‘Well, maybe this will be our year.'”
“Getting to see the guys up close, seeing all the hard work that Buck and the team puts into it on behalf of all the fans and all the stadium workers back in Camden Yards,” says Bill Andrews, of Baltimore.
The Orioles have come a long way from their days as a perennial losing team. For five straight years, they’ve been contenders. And in three of those seasons, they’ve made the playoffs.
That’s a point of pride for players who have been part of the rebirth of the birds.
“Since I’ve been here in 2012, it’s kind of turned around a little bit,” says pitcher Darren O’Day. “We’ve put pretty good quality teams on the field every year. Hopefully something the fans enjoy watching.”
“We made the moves to put ourselves in a good position to be playing in October,” says Chris Tillman. “And I think that’s a great thing to be a part of.”
Tillman also told WJZ that he’s actually feeling pretty good despite reports about an injured shoulder this week.