Orioles' postponement wasn't an April Fool's joke; opener shifts to Friday - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ postponement wasn’t an April Fool’s joke; opener shifts to Friday

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BOSTON—About five hours before Thursday’s opener was scheduled to start, I read an alert on my phone from ESPN saying that the Orioles-Red Sox game had been postponed. Since it was April 1st, I thought it was a joke and, to cover myself, tweeted: “ESPN says #Orioles #RedSox postponed.”

Quickly, I found out it was correct, and the Orioles would have to wait through a raw, unpleasant day without rain in the afternoon. Instead, the Orioles and Red Sox are scheduled to play their opener at 2:10 p.m. on Friday at Fenway Park.

The only news of the day came when the team released its 26-man roster. Relief pitcher Shawn Armstrong was on the paternity list. His wife gave birth to a son on Thursday.

How long Armstrong will be absent is unknown. He must miss one game, but no more than three. Armstrong’s absence allows relievers Cole Sulser and Dillon Tate to be on the Opening Day roster.

The biggest stories around baseball on Opening Day, which featured 13 games, was the return of fans, and the postponement of at least the first two games of the New York Mets-Washington Nationals series because of a Covid-19 outbreak on the Nationals. It was a reminder that we’re still dealing with a pandemic.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said the team is following Major League Baseball’s health and safety protocols again in 2021. Some Oriole players, and Hyde, have gotten the vaccine. Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said his goal is to have everyone in the organization vaccinated.

Last year was unique because of the pandemic, with fans not being allowed to attend games. It still will be different to see Fenway Park at only 12 percent capacity, about 5,000 fans, but not nearly as disconcerting as it was to see cardboard cutouts and hear piped-in crowd noise last year.

It was strange seeing Boston, known for its massive tieups and drivers without patience, traffic-free just as it was unnerving to see New York last September with few people on the streets.

Next Thursday, presumably with better weather, the Orioles will play before about 11,000 fans on Opening Day, 25 percent capacity for Camden Yards. Fans eager to see baseball will have to adjust to not sitting in their accustomed seats and not having those impromptu baseball discussions with people in nearby seats. Fans will be seated in group pods and must wear masks except when eating and drinking.


There have been some memorable Opening Days in Baltimore. For many years, when there was no baseball in Washington, the Orioles opened at home nearly every year.

In 1982, Cal Ripken Jr. hit his first major league home run and shook his father’s hand as he rounded third base. Cal Senior was long the team’s third base coach. In 2003, it snowed.

But the most special opener came in 1992 when Oriole Park opened to critical acclaim, ushering in an era of exciting new stadiums around baseball.

Friday’s opener at Fenway will feature many new Oriole faces and high hopes. And the weather shouldn’t be an issue.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    April 2, 2021 at 8:36 am

    Play ball !

  2. Raveonjo

    April 2, 2021 at 9:43 am

    Rich, do you have any info on player vaccinations? I read they’re not mandatory, and mask restrictions will be relaxed once a team is 85% vaccinated, but I haven’t heard of any comprehensive plans to inoculate the league.

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 2, 2021 at 10:17 am

      As I wrote, their hope is to vaccinate the entire organization. I heard that the Cardinals are already 85 percent vaccinated. Don’t know about any concrete plans. There’s a great incentive to do so.

  3. Orial

    April 2, 2021 at 11:26 am

    I guess we’re at the point where the “chance of rain” cancels as easily as “rain” itself does. Canceled do to “raw and inclement weather”. So let’s try this again today. I see where Rio Ruiz starts at 2B for today’s opener. Interesting. We’ve gone from Hanser Alberto,to many experiments,to finally settling on Ruiz. Defense be damned. Hey but ya never know. How many pitchers used today?–I say 6 and that will be the new norm in MLB. Good luck Orioles I’ll be watching.

    • BrooksPJs

      April 2, 2021 at 12:38 pm

      Ruiz has a positive DWAR and positive defensive runs saved over his MLB career at a variety positions, not sure why the “Defense be damned” comment. Ruiz should be able to handled 2B IMO.

  4. Codder

    April 2, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    No lineup post?

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    April 2, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    Watching the game in the 2nd inning. What a pleasure to hear Jim Palmer’s voice again.

  6. CalsPals

    April 2, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    Seeing some great defense at 3B already…lol, Ruiz with a nice play at 2B…go O’s…

  7. Hallbe62

    April 2, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    When I posted “Rainout !” just after 10:00 am, I guess most of you thought “April Fools”.

    Another note, MASN didn’t make it’s opening day goal of launching it’s MASN App. 300+ O’s & Nat’s games now streamable. I just came from Google Play….no joy

  8. Raveonjo

    April 2, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    MLB is a puppet of the lying Devilcrats. Stop bring politics into baseball!!! Stand up to the bullies, Georgia!

    • dlgruber1

      April 2, 2021 at 3:32 pm

      The shortsightedness of that decision is typical of those people. Atlanta, a typical leftist city that can use every penny it can get, will lose millions of dollars the game would’ve brought into the city. The businesses that will now not receive the money that would’ve come their way should be demanding the mayor do something about it. Sports should have no place in politics and vice versa.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      April 2, 2021 at 3:48 pm

      Manfred. What a punk.

    • CalsPals

      April 2, 2021 at 4:08 pm

      Agree, paraphrasing part of Field of Dreams, the one constant is baseball, it should just worry about baseball, not politics…go O’s…

    • Codder

      April 2, 2021 at 4:17 pm

      100% agree. What a disgusting move by mlb. They support voting fraud

    • Birdman

      April 2, 2021 at 4:49 pm

      This site isn’t usually a place for political commentary, but since several of you have decided to share your MAGA opinions, I will offer my kudos to MLB and the Commissioner for the decision to move the All Star game.

      Georgia’s Republican politicians recently enacted new laws designed for one purpose, and one purpose only – to suppress voting by African Americans and Hispanics. So let them deal with the consequences – MLB (and other companies) have the right to take their business elsewhere. At least half of MLB’s All Stars are African American or Hispanic players – no reason they should be obligated to put on a show for Georgia’s rednecks.

      • Codder

        April 2, 2021 at 5:24 pm

        What a racist statement. Color of a person’s skin doesn’t affect how a person votes. Keep the playing the suppression card

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        April 2, 2021 at 6:07 pm

        Redneck …. racist term? Y/N

    • CalsPals

      April 2, 2021 at 5:05 pm

      Birdbrain, I have zero allegiance to Maga or Trump, if you read my entire post, keep the politics out of baseball, sports in general, it burned me to have them pull the game period, no political sides for me, ever, since the seventies I’ve voted non-partisan, for whomever I thought the best candidate was & will continue to do so…as always, go O’s…

      • Birdman

        April 2, 2021 at 5:16 pm

        I said that “several” of the comments sounded MAGA like, not specifically yours … and if you read all of the comments, you will see that several do read like a Trump tweet, using terms like “Devilcrats”, “typical leftist city”, and “voting fraud.”

    • dlgruber1

      April 2, 2021 at 6:16 pm

      I have no problem “sounding MAGA” as you say. Tell me how asking for ID suppresses the vote. What, are you like our president who doesn’t believes Blacks and Latinos are smart enough to know how to use a computer? You need ID to buy a pack of cigs for God’s sake.

    • DcOsfan

      April 2, 2021 at 6:42 pm

      The whole scheme of the Republicans is based on the fact that democrats vote absentee more than republicans so let’s make it harder to vote absentee and suppress the democrat vote. As numerous recounts and other reviews have demonstrated, there was no fraud that needed to be addressed.

      • Codder

        April 2, 2021 at 6:45 pm

        Wrong. More liberal logic. Literally illegal ballot dumps after midnight. More votes cast than registered voters. But liberals dont care about facts

    • DcOsfan

      April 2, 2021 at 6:50 pm

      Making up stuff simply doesn’t make it true. There is zero evidence of what you claim to be true.

  9. BrooksPJs

    April 2, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    Listening to the game on the radio and it seems that Rio “Defense be Damned” Ruiz is doing okay at 2B today.

    • CalsPals

      April 2, 2021 at 4:44 pm

      Not too impressed with the play of the left side of the Diamond, Ruiz looked good defensively, not so much batting…go O’s…

    • dlgruber1

      April 2, 2021 at 4:45 pm

      Ironically Franco has an error. LOVE hearing Palmer say anything but especially saying Ruiz looks like he’s played there his whole career.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      April 2, 2021 at 6:05 pm

      Pajamaman …Aren’t you the one that said just the other day, that you can’t expect someone to start playing 2B at a major league level over night. (yes Sisco was the subject)

      But this is exactly the same type of old-school hogwash we’ve had fed to us since I was a little boy at least, back in the 60’s. I never played above a high school level, but I do know enough to say that 85% of major league position players could play most any position reasonably well … except maybe catcher. The other exceptions would be guys that can’t run trying to play the outfield. But even then .. .if they could get to the ball … they can all catch ’em. Playing defense is the easy part of the game. Hitting a curve is where they lost me.

      If you played the game your whole life, you’ve most likely played all the postions at some point. Fielding ground balls and throwing is a fundamental skill.

      But Ruiz DID look good didn’t he? Let’s stay tuned to this experiment. (said by Rio’s biggest critic…I admit)

  10. Bancells Moustache

    April 2, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    Major League Baseball just committed suicide. That’s definitely not an April Fools joke.

    Enjoy the season boys. I’m out.

    • dlgruber1

      April 2, 2021 at 4:49 pm

      I’m asking you, fan to fan, to reconsider. Don’t give up something you love because others who are more worried about appearances make idiotic decisions. Tho who am I to talk, I’ve hardly watched an NFL game since Colts left Baltimore. But that’s different. The O’s need all the support they can get.

    • CalsPals

      April 2, 2021 at 5:08 pm

      Agree, the O’s didn’t make this decision, besides you’re pretty knowledgeable & add good commentary for us…go O’s…

    • Codder

      April 2, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      April 2, 2021 at 6:11 pm

      BanMo…I agree. I’m sort of regretting already paying for my MLB.TV subscription. But frankly…I’m too much a whore and need my summertime sports fix and will continue to watch the team.

    • dlgruber1

      April 2, 2021 at 10:17 pm

      This is the last I’ll comment on this as I agree this is an O’s baseball site. So what do Dems want me to believe, that it’s racist and voter suppression to have to do that? Wow!!

  11. CalsPals

    April 2, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    In the 9th, Severino looking like his typical behind the plate defense, WTH…go O’s…

  12. Codder

    April 2, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Was hoping this site would be my new go to site for all things O’s. But no pregame/lineup/post game articles. Site is bare and not up to date.

  13. DcOsfan

    April 2, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    Wish all the games would go like this one. I applaud MLB for taking a stand against voter suppression. Sports and politics have been intertwined for a long time and this was totally the right move. Go Os!

    • Codder

      April 2, 2021 at 5:54 pm

      Lol. It’s literally not voter suppression. Haha.

    • DcOsfan

      April 2, 2021 at 6:44 pm

      If it makes it harder to vote and there is no benefit to it, then it is voter suppression. Says it isn’t, doesn’t make that true.

      • Codder

        April 2, 2021 at 6:51 pm

        Go look at the numbers. Fact: More ballots cast than registered voters. Fact: signatures were not checked. Fact: unsolicited ballets sent out. Fact: Republican reps were not allowed in counting rooms. Fact:dead people filled out ballots. But go ahead with ur false agenda

    • DcOsfan

      April 2, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      Made up “facts” aren’t facts. People advancing those claims had ample opportunity to present supporting evidence. Since there was none, none was provided.

    • dlgruber1

      April 2, 2021 at 7:34 pm

      I’m still patiently waiting for someone to explain to me how asking for ID makes it harder to vote. Someone, anyone?

    • DcOsfan

      April 2, 2021 at 9:10 pm

      It is the requirement that you print your id # on the ballot request and then once or twice on the ballot material. If you transpose a number or a number is illegible, your ballot isn’t counted. It isn’t harder to vote, just less likely your ballot will actually be counted.


    April 3, 2021 at 9:08 am

    I see the MAGATS are out in force today. I bet it was OK for “Y’all” when rednecks tried to destroy the Dixie Chicks career.

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