I took at look at the recently released 2009 schedule outside the Orioles clubhouse in Toronto last night. It didn't take long for some of the players to start peaking over my shoulder. They wanted to know how it looks.
Here are the highlights and lowlights I pointed out to them.
The Birds ease into the schedule with 15 home games in April and have an exciting interleague schedule as they play the Mets and Braves at home and hit the road to take on the Phillies and Marlins.
Veterans always look to see which National League parks they'll get a rare chance to play in. The change of scenery tends to break up a very monotonous season.
Life in baseball can become like Groundhog Day as players see the same American League parks over and over, year after year.
Many of the players were excited to hear they are going to Miami to play the Marlins. The excitement was short lived when I pointed out the average humidity levels in Miami in late June will make it feel like a sauna.
Dolphin Stadium is not a dome, so the AC won't be there to save them.
Just call me Debbie Downer.
Kevin Millar reminded me he played for the Marlins for 6 years, and said the weather is a big reason the Marlins play well at home. They get used to it. Opposing teams come in and die of heat exhaustion.
Luke Scott and Jeremy Guthrie's eyes almost popped out of their heads when I told them there is a stretch from July 24th-September 2nd where the O's play 40 games in 41 days. That could make for a long August.
Scott said, "Strap on your seatbelt. That's going to be a ride."
The O's 2009 regular season will wrap up quite late, as their last game is scheduled for October 4th at home against Toronto.