For openers ...
Update, 2:45 Okay, so it's still cold and still gray, but the rain has stopped and there will be baseball, so that does make it a great day. The Rays have been introduced and, in a bit of a twist, were lined up between third and second. The Orioles are coming out from centerfield on what has to be the world's longest orange carpet, with their arrival heralded by fireworks and their path lined by flag-waving kids.
By the way, there are rumors that the Orioles have still not sold out the opener, which is amazing given the history here.
Not too much in the way of news from manager Joe Maddon pre-game, basically that all players are healthy, though he may have to determine how available Cliff Floyd will be on almost a daily basis due to a sore knee. Maddon said he'll try to get all players a start sometime in the first week so they don't get stale coming out of spring training - keeping alive the enticing possibility of Elliot Johnson being introduced to the crowd at Yankee Stadium.
INF Ben Zobrist hasn't started hitting yet, the final stage of his recovery from a broken left thumb, which makes it unlikely he would join the team during the season-opening seven-game trip.
No word today from the Rays on the 2009 contract options that have to be acted on by Tuesday, with Carl Crawford's expected to be picked up and Rocco Baldelli's expected to be declined.
It's cold, gray and wet here in Baltimore this morning, not exactly a beautiful day for baseball, but all indications from the morning forecasts are that the opener will be played.
Light rain has been falling much of the morning, and temperatures are still in the low 40s, but by the 3:05 first pitch it should at least be in the 50s (great!) and the rain is supposed to dwindle to a drizzle (how nice!).
The Rays didn't work out in St. Petersburg or Baltimore on Sunday, taking a late afternoon flight. They may not get to hit on the field today either based on the weather.
Photo: Brian Cassella | Times