BALTIMORE, Md. — This upcoming weekend was supposed to be our final one without baseball at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Orioles opening day was to be Thursday, March 26. Of course all that has changed because of the coronavirus.
The regular season is now pushed back to mid-May at the earliest. Spring training is put on hold. Orioles players have scattered. Some remain in Sarasota, Fla. - the spring home of the O’s. Others are with their families elsewhere. Orioles General Manager Mike Elias said the club is in constant contact with its players.
"We are checking in with our players daily," said Elias.
Elias has remained in Sarasota. He added that to this point everyone connected to the Orioles feels fine.
"So far we’ve been lucky and haven’t had any cases [of coronavirus] or suspected cases attached to the organization," he said. "We’re staying on high alert."
Jennifer Grondahl is the Orioles’ point of contact with MLB regarding coronavirus.
"I’ve been in contact with Major League Baseball pretty much every day," said the team's Senior Vice President, Community Development and Communications. "They’re making adjustments constantly. They have to respond to the information that’s being provided by the government."
This is truly a time like no other in the game’s recent history. Getting players ready for the season properly will be tough.
"We were getting guys built up and now with this layoff we have no idea how long it’s going to be. So, that is a challenge," said Orioles Manager Brandon Hyde from the Sarasota area.
It’s safety first for now with visions of baseball on the horizon.
"There’s a lot bigger things going on in the world and that’s where our thoughts and our hearts are with," added Hyde.
"As soon as we can go we all want to go and play baseball and I think that it’s going to mean a lot to the country when we’re back playing baseball again, too," said Elias. "So, the sooner the better."
As for when baseball activities do eventually resume, Elias said he has no idea whether the Orioles will get back to work training in Sarasota or in Baltimore. He added that he has no indication of what that period will look like.