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For openers . . .



What it is about rainy days and Mondays? It's been raining and threatening most of the day here in Baltimore, but within an hour of game time the skies started to clear and the sun actually peeked through. Maybe there is something special about Opening Day.

The Orioles found a way to use the weather to their advantage. They took batting practice through light rain, but as soon as they were done the decision was made that it was raining too hard for the Rays to hit, so they had to instead use the indoor tunnels. Coincidence? You decide.

New principal owner Stuart Sternberg and some of his partners are here, and Sternberg is very much excited about the first game. He has been making a point to try to at least say Hello and Good Luck to each player. ""It's my first first day,'' he said.

Another visitor attracting a lot of attention has been manager Joe Maddon's mom, Beanie. She came over from their hometown of Hazleton, Pa., with Joe's sister Carmine and her husband, to see her son's first game as a fulltime major-league manager. And she brought him a treat - a cold-cut hoagie from the restaurant where she still works - the Third Base Luncheonette.

Maddon said the lineup he is using today will be the regular lineup against righthanded pitchers until Rocco Baldelli returns from injury in a few weeks. The plan is this:
1. Julio Lugo, ss; 2. Carl Crawford, lf; 3. Jorge Cantu, 2b; 4. Aubrey Huff, 3b; 5. Jonny Gomes, DH; 6. Travis Lee, 1b; 7. Toby Hall, c; 8. Damon Hollins, rf; 9. Joey Gathright, cf.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:30am]


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