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Orioles made right decision to play away this weekend

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Orioles made right decision to play away this weekend

It wasn’t a typical spring Friday in Baltimore. Usually, the streets are filled with people, some wearing Orioles garb.  Today I saw only one.

There haven’t been many people walking around downtown, patronizing restaurants or stores. While I would have preferred this weekend’s series against Tampa Bay be at home, the decision to play in St. Petersburg with all the oddities it brings was clearly the right one.

Even though this town is sports crazed, and could use a diversion, we’re probably not ready for games. Wednesday’s empty house was the best solution, and it worked out well, but to have three games with crowds this weekend, was just not the  right thing.

Some fans would have preferred to have the games played in Washington. The Nationals aren’t home, but there were ticketing and staffing issues, and the games may not have drawn very well.

If there were night games, fans from Baltimore couldn’t have attended because they’d have to be back in town by the time the 10 p.m. curfew hits.

It’s best the team is away. At least everyone can have some fun joking about the poor crowds this weekend and the Orioles being the home team.

Seeing the National Guard riding in their armored vehicles or walking the streets with their guns isn’t terribly comforting. It’s alarming, but necessary.

I wish the constant whir of helicopters circling above my house would disappear, but we need them now.

The Orioles don’t have another home game scheduled until May 11. By then, the hope is things will have calmed down.

Fifteen days from now while the team is getting ready to play the Angels, the biggest sporting event in Baltimore, the Preakness, is scheduled.

That day requires an enormous police presence. Well over 100,000 fans crowd Pimlico, and it’s a big money maker for the city’s hotel and restaurant business, businesses that have taken a huge hit this week.

The Orioles have in effect lost five home games this week. There are 18,000 general admission seats in the lower bowl of Tropicana Field on sale for this weekend’s series.

Had the events of the past week not occurred, perhaps 100,000 fans would have been at the ballpark. The guess here is that maybe 10,000 show up this weekend.

As a longtime Baltimorean, I can only hope that baseball fans, conventioneers and other tourists aren’t scared away from the wonderful ballpark and our unique and diverse city.

But, that’s the optimist in me. Sadly, I know that it’s bound to have at least some effect.

Watching the Orioles play is my job, and a huge part of my life, but I’ll not be in St. Petersburg this weekend. I would have liked to have been there for the strangeness and the easy jokes my colleagues and I would make.

I’ll be viewing on TV, eager to focus on something else.

RELATED: [Orioles will be home in St. Petersburg this weekend]

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Manny Machado trade rumors are dominating headlines at All-Star Game

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Manny Machado trade rumors are dominating headlines at All-Star Game

Manny Machado could very well be playing in his final game in an Orioles uniform Tuesday night when he takes the field for the 89th Midsummer Classic at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. 

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers are now in the driver's seat as a favorite to land the All-Star shortstop. 

Machado, 26, has gone back and forth on what he does and does not know as front office deals develop and speculation continues to grow. One thing he has made clear is that the rumors have not detracted from his enjoyment of being an All-Star.

Machado is signed through the end of the season, but the Orioles intend to deal him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

For the latest news and conversation surrounding Machado's status and the Orioles, follow along on Twitter

RELATED LINKS: 

2018 MLB All-Star Guide 

Bryce Harper reflects on his baseball career 

Best and worst ASG uniforms 

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Orioles reportedly have deal in place to trade Manny Machado to Dodgers

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USA TODAY Sports

Orioles reportedly have deal in place to trade Manny Machado to Dodgers

When Manny Machado returns from the 2018 MLB All-Star Break, he will not be donning a Baltimore Orioles uniform. 

The All-Star shortstop is expected to be traded from Baltimore to the Los Angeles Dodgers, barring any last-minute changes, according to multiple media reports. 

That being said, the Machado trade talks remain fluid and both the Phillies and Brewers are still trying to work a trade for the 26-year-old third baseman, according to Jon Heyman. The Diamondbacks are also reportedly trying to lure the four-time All-Star to the desert, while the Yankees decided to pull out of the Machado sweepstakes just prior to the All-Star festivities in Washington, D.C. 

While the details of the trade have yet to be revealed, the Dodgers will reportedly include top outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz in the Machado trade, according to Heyman.

According to Jim Bowden, when regular-season play returns, Machado will be in the National League, although which team he plays for is still up in the air.

With the Orioles sitting a historically awful 39.5 games out of first place at the All-Star Break, trading Machado is the first major step toward a complete overhaul. The Orioles drafted Machado out of Brito High School in Miami, Fla., with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. Since then, Machado has drawn comparisons to iconic third basemen Brooks Robinson and Alex Rodriguez, despite being moved to shortstop full-time this past season, and is widely considered one of the three best position players in professional baseball.

Machado is currently batting .315 with 24 home runs and 65 RBIs.

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