A day of two giant Oriole stories - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

A day of two giant Oriole stories

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

SARASOTA, Florida—There was so much to digest from a day with two enormous Oriole stories.

Within two hours on Thursday, Major League Baseball announced the postponement of at least the first two weeks of the regular season and the cancellation of the rest of spring training, and the Orioles announced that their most valuable player from last season, Trey Mancini, underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumor on his colon.

The news on Mancini was shocking and, even though it was expected, so was the unprecedented move in response to the coronavirus.

Mancini will turn 28 on Tuesday, and his availability for the 2020 season is unknown.

More than two decades ago, there was another Oriole outfielder who underwent surgery for colon cancer. On June 13, 1997, Eric Davis had a cancerous tumor removed from his colon. He resumed playing on September 15.

In 1998, Davis had a team-record 30-game hitting streak.

Mancini, the son of an OB-GYN physician, is not only the Orioles’ best player but its most popular with the fans.

His return is uncertain, and so is the sport’s.

The NBA will be on hiatus for at least 30 days, and it’s likely the NHL will pause for that long, too.

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As for baseball, its suspension comes before the season was set to begin, and there are dozens of questions that surround it.

Is it possible that only two weeks of the schedule will be lost? If that’s the case, will the games be made up after the conclusion of the regular season on September 27.

In the season’s first two weeks, the Orioles were scheduled to play 12 games.

In 1995 when the players’ strike that began the previous August finally concluded, teams played 144 games, 18 fewer than normal.

Will the team stay in Sarasota to train? Chris Davis, the team’s player representative, indicated on Thursday that he wanted to continue to work out at the Orioles’ facility. The Orioles are slated to work out at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, at least on Friday. How much longer they’ll remain there isn’t known.

MLB has ended media access for the time being.

Weather in Baltimore could allow the team to work out at Oriole Park when training resumes.

The spring training roster has 54 players, although Mancini, reliever Evan Phillips and outfielder DJ Stewart could begin the season on the injured list.

Surely, the Orioles could make cuts from the roster, which is 15 players fewer than at its peak to make final 26-man roster selection less cumbersome. It wouldn’t be a surprise when games begin, if teams were allowed to carry a few more players, at least for the season’s first weeks.

Once the NBA announced it would halt play after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus, it seemed certain that baseball would follow. The NHL, Major League Soccer and the NCAA, which canceled its tournament, quickly moved, and so did baseball.

The sport seemingly had no choice, and for a time, the sports-mad nation will have to find other things to do.

There will be plenty of time to debate the Orioles’ starting rotation, and the composition of their bullpen, infield and outfield, and plenty of time to wish Trey Mancini well and hope that he’s ready to play when the season is ready to commence.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. In The Triangle

    March 13, 2020 at 7:25 am

    Playoff baseball in Minnesota in November: That will be cool!

    I miss baseball already.

  2. J Guy

    March 13, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Trey will be sidelined for at least two months. Our prayers are with you Trey

    • Roley59

      March 13, 2020 at 8:39 am

      Prayers go out for Trey. NHL did stop their season .

  3. Orial

    March 13, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Sad,solemn times in general and Baltimore in particular. Baseball shouldn’t even matter to Trey or for the rest of us as these troubling times consume us. Good luck Trey and I pray for you but in our own way we as a population are also in troubling waters. Chin up everybody.

  4. Bman

    March 13, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Looking forward to springtime when hopefully all this will be behind us and back into baseball.

    • Baltimore Castaway

      March 13, 2020 at 9:37 am

      Count on it…am thinking that the Orioles are going to be playing better this year too.

  5. CalsPals

    March 13, 2020 at 9:51 am

    All things considered, there are much more important things than how the O’s play this yr…God Bless everyone & go O’s…

  6. Harvey kimbrough

    March 13, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Wise decision

  7. [email protected]

    March 13, 2020 at 10:59 am

    Prayers for Trey…

  8. dlgruber1

    March 14, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    I don’t see how MLB just simply starts up the season after 2 weeks, 2 months, whatever. Teams were right in the middle of spring training. Players, especially pitchers, were nowhere near ready to go. Once they announce a resumption date I think there should be at least a 10 day to 2 week “spring training” if for no other reason than to make it easier for managers to select their final roster.

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 14, 2020 at 10:32 pm

      It won’t resume without another spring training, whether it’s in Sarasota or Baltimore, and depending on how long they’re out, it could be anywhere from 10 days to three weeks.

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