Waiting for that good Oriole news - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Waiting for that good Oriole news

We love sports because of the uncertainty. We never know for sure what will happen. What kind of a player will Adley Rutschman be? Can Lamar Jackson reach another level?

What we’re experiencing now is the worst kind of uncertainty, the unsettling kind.

What’s familiar to us we can’t have. No sports. No movies. No restaurants or bars.

That special birthday or anniversary dinner won’t be happening, and while we can read books, stream movies or listen to music at home, our favorite outlets have been taken away.

A week ago I was in Florida when I found out that Major League Baseball was banning reporters from the clubhouses, and for three days we lived with that new reality. Interviewees were brought to us for awkward talks in an unnatural setting.

Those seem like the good old days now.

People who know me always think I’m the optimistic one. When a blizzard is forecast, I’m always certain it won’t be as rough as predicted. The snow can be shoveled, and it will melt in a few days and, besides, it’s only two weeks until spring training begins.

I’ve been optimistic about the coronavirus outbreak, thinking it will be over in a few weeks, and then we can get back to normal.

I’m not sure what to believe now. The Centers for Disease Control has recommended against gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, making sure there won’t be baseball until perhaps Memorial Day, maybe later.


I keep thinking as quickly as conditions worsened, they’ll get better, but that’s the optimistic me.

My late father always used to tell me that he thought the beginning of spring was St. Patrick’s Day. For the first time in many years, I’m home for St. Patrick’s Day, and it isn’t a great feeling.

Two members of my immediate family work in medicine. That’s a source of pride for me. They’re doing wonderful things for people, helping things, and I’ve watched them help other family members, too.

But now I worry about them, and everyone else — friends who have elderly parents who they can’t be in the same room with, older friends who might be susceptible, and younger friends, too. I want to be optimistic about all of them.

My wife always looks forward to her annual visit to spring training. This year she watched two games, shared lovely meals and trips with me, and got to witness the engagement of our friends, Emily Alt and Roch Kubatko, but she was concerned about the spread of the illness and her job.

When she left for home last Wednesday, I told her I’d see her in 13 days—or much sooner. The much sooner won.

As soon as the NBA suspended its season, I knew that baseball would quickly follow. The Orioles were scheduled to play the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers on Thursday night, and I was skeptical they would.

However, the team boarded their buses for the trip, and I prepared to depart, too. Before I could leave the building, the buses had returned, and we knew what was coming. Ninety minutes later, the word came that spring training was over, and two hours later came the news that Trey Mancini had a malignant tumor removed from his colon.

A few hours later, I booked a flight home on Saturday, 10 days before I was scheduled to come home.

In the coming days, I’ll share what ever Oriole news there is. There should be more news on Mancini and, perhaps, the team will add left-hander Wade LeBlanc to its 40-man roster by Thursday.

Obviously, I’d much rather write about the uncertainties of the rotation and the roster as a whole than speculate on when we’ll see baseball in 2020.

The entire sports calendar is now out of sorts. No Masters or Boston Marathon in April. No Triple Crown races in May, and no NCAA bracket to fill out. The NBA playoffs may take place in tiny G-League arenas instead.

I don’t see how there can be a 162-game season. Sure, a 110-game season is better than none. There will still be a World Series, but there can’t be a 40 or 50 home run hitter or even a 15-game winner.

Someone’s streak of 20 home run seasons will come to an end, and for years we’ll be talking about the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Of course, those are trivialities when we know what’s at stake here.

September 11, 2001 was the worst day of my lifetime. I knew two people who died in the Twin Towers, and loved ones of three friends died at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

That day changed the way we live. I can’t even remember the screening process before TSA officers checked us.

This, too will change the way we live, but we won’t know that for months or a year or two.

A frequent commenter to the site on Monday wrote: “Nobody in the sports world has a tougher job today than Rich Dubroff. It was tough enough to find anything to write about this team 2 weeks ago, but now this.”

I responded that the writers on the Utah Jazz, who had to be tested for the coronavirus after Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive, had it much tougher.

In the days that followed spring training’s suspension, people have asked what I will write about. I write about the Orioles at least five days a week in the offseason, too, when spring training is many weeks away. There’s always something to write about.

That’s the same now, except I don’t know for certain when they’ll resume.

I watched a month of spring training, and saw 18 games, and in the coming days, I’ll tell you what I saw even if much of it may not matter when the hiatus ends.

While I wait, there are books to read, and I promise I’ll finally watch “The Godfather,” which I knew I’d see this winter, but didn’t.

Most important, there are Oriole fans who’ll wait, maybe not so patiently, for news about the team they love. I hope the good news comes soon. I’m still optimistic about it.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. The Cartoon Bird

    March 17, 2020 at 7:30 am

    Nice article Rich. On a lighter note, if you do decide to finally watch The Godfather, go all the way and watch Godfather Part II. In my humble opinion, a worthy and deeper sequel to Part I.

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 17, 2020 at 7:39 am

      Thank you, Bird. Many have told me I need to watch Part 2, but avoid Part 3.

      • Jack Gibbons

        March 17, 2020 at 9:22 am

        They are correct.

        • Bancells Moustache

          March 17, 2020 at 11:05 am

          Part III isn’t terrible. As a standalone film it would be fine. It’s just when it sits next to the giants that are parts one and two that it looks bad. Think of part III as the Mike Boddicker of the series. Solid player, gives you a show, he just ain’t no Palmer or Mussina.

          • Birdman

            March 17, 2020 at 2:06 pm

            Gotta respectfully disagree … I think of Godfather 3 more like the Ubaldo of the series … if Rich hasn’t seen it yet, he should substitute Good Fellas for G 3.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            March 17, 2020 at 3:44 pm

            A motion picture discussion and I missed the boat. Arrrrrghh!!!!

          • Bancells Moustache

            March 17, 2020 at 5:11 pm

            That’s fair. Ubaldo had his moments but eventually let us all down. But people make part III out to be the worst movie ever made or something, and it’s not THAT bad.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            March 17, 2020 at 6:16 pm

            I Rate GF3 at least a couple steps ahead of Costner’s “The Postman”, which undoubtedly IS the worst movie ever.

    • dlgruber1

      March 17, 2020 at 10:29 pm

      Don’t get me wrong, The Godfather is a great movie. But right now I’d rather laugh, smile and reminisce so I’ll be watching Diner.

  2. CalsPals

    March 17, 2020 at 9:04 am

    Excellent words to live by Rich, too often we get concerned about things that really aren’t all that important, good health to all & go O’s…

  3. Tony Paparella

    March 17, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Nicely said Rich and even though things look bleak I think we will prevail.One off the cuff question I have for you or anyone for that matter is if you had tickets for earlier games will the money be refunded.Being from out of state I am not sure if I will be coming down the rest of the year.Also does anyone know if hotels will be refunding if you did not buy cancellation insurance? Sorry if this is inappropriate. I am trying to get through to the proper sites but to no avail so far.

    • Bancells Moustache

      March 17, 2020 at 11:10 am

      That’s a decision to made by the respective hotel chains. Does the positive PR outweigh the losses associated with the cancellations. I hate to say it, but unless an outright travel restriction is put in place, which to my knowledge hasn’t happened outside of the city of San Francisco, you may be out of luck.

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 17, 2020 at 11:15 am

      Yes, the money will be refunded, but we don’t know how the schedule will be reconfigured once it’s resumed. I don’t think they’ll just pick up where they left off. As for hotels, like all sportswriters, I’m a Marriott person, and they allow cancellation until 48 hours before a stay.

  4. Orial

    March 17, 2020 at 11:08 am

    Wonderful article Rich. Very thought provoking. You unwittingly may have relayed a message for us all to step back and appreciate the many other things that are available to us. Stop and stare at the ocean,hike in the woods and look around around you. Stop and take a deep breath. All those things are as significant as baseball. Again a nice,eye opening article.

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 17, 2020 at 11:15 am

      Thank you, Orial.

    • CalsPals

      March 17, 2020 at 4:24 pm

      Agree Orial, my son & I are going shed hunting this week, 1st time in a long time…go O’s…

  5. [email protected]

    March 18, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Thanks Rich. You always bring an optimistic and positive tone for all of us to reflect on and consider. Good health to everyone.

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 18, 2020 at 10:56 am

      Thank you, Steve.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login or Register Here

Leave a Reply

To Top