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Adam Jones disappointed in low Orioles attendance

Adam Jones disappointed in low Orioles attendance

BALTIMORE—Very quietly on Tuesday night, the Orioles passed the 2 million mark in home attendance.

The team will draw over 2-million for the fifth consecutive year, but total attendance could be its lowest since 2012 when the Orioles drew 2,102,240. 

It’s a topic that’s been talked about a lot around Baltimore, and on Wednesday, Adam Jones weighed in on the topic.

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“I think when it comes to this stuff I’ve heard many different sides of it. It’s due to school starting, weather, which is understandable, danger, which I don’t really see. I understand but I don’t necessarily see that. As a player, we go out there busting our tails. The fans’ impact at Camden Yards it’s unbelievable,” Jones said.

The Orioles will have their fifth straight season without a losing record after 14 straight seasons with losing marks. The team is a solid playoff contender, but that hasn’t translating into more fans. 

“I think they know that, I think they understand that and the players understand that. Obviously, this week, and this last homestand, the last 11 games are arguably the most important games of the season.

"We’ve fought our tails off for the 145 games to put ourselves into a unique situation as of September. And that’s what you say you want to play, important September baseball. Part of September baseball, especially if you’re in the heat (of the race), is fans. That’s just is what it is. Every place you go the fans are gonna be there,” Jones said. 

On Monday night, just 18,456 showed up for the first game of the Orioles series with Boston. Tuesday’s crowd was 20,387, both well under the 46,000 capacity of Oriole Park.

“When we’re in Detroit, they were there for them. When we go to Boston -- Boston’s one of the most desirable places to be at anyway -- they’re there. I know when we go on the road in Toronto, we know they’re gonna be there. They’ve been there since basically the trade deadline last year,” Jones said. 

There have been just seven crowds of over 40,000 this season—none after July 9.

“I’m not going to say I’m disappointed. I’d say it’s just a little … not sad. Just like eerie, a little bit. We grind and grind and grind. And I understand, there’s a lot of factors into it,” Jones said.

Jones, who has been with the Orioles since the start of the 2008 season, longer than anyone else, is active in the community.

“Take in ticket prices being higher, although you can bring in food and beverages. You take in the marketing, promotions, I’m sure they’re not the best. I get all that, but I’m saying the city wanted a winner. The last five years we’ve gotten a winner. I don’t know if they’ve gotten complacent already on us winning. I wish they haven’t. I hope they haven’t. But because winning is fun every single year and being in this race is exciting every single year,” Jones said.

“To the ones that come every night, that’s been coming every night, ‘Thank you, with open arms because you don’t have to.’ And we know what you have to go through to get here Some people commute very far. Some people live downtown, some people live in other cities. But we appreciate the support that has came through. That’s really all I got to say about that.”

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

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USA Today Sports

Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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USA Today Sports Images

Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm