Although there are a lot of unresolved issues floating around Orioles For 2023, one expected change has been announced at Camden Yards.
After twelve years of using Delaware Northern as the franchises seller, the Orioles are headed with a new hospitality partner now that their previous contract has expired.
The Orioles announced Thursday that it will use Levy’s Restaurants, a Chicago-based company that franchises nearly 200 sports and entertainment venues, including Wrigley Field in Chicago, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Nationals Park in Washington, DC.
Details — such as menu cost and selection — are still being worked out, but here are a few things we know about what this means for Camden Yards customers:
The Orioles press release states that fans can expect “a food and beverage experience with local twists,” and the Orioles have confirmed that Boog’s BBQ and Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, two of the park’s most popular stands, will return in 2023. That being said, we’ll have to wait.
The beer list also isn’t fully defined, so the second most asked question fans are asking right now can’t be answered — we have no idea if National Boh will make a triumphant return to the arenas. Keep your fingers crossed, Palmer.
Now, on to the big problem: If you’re a fan of Coca-Cola, sorry. Camden Yards will continue to offer Pepsi products. This agreement is independent of the New Deal with Levy.
Another thing that won’t change: Fans will be allowed to bring their own food and drinks – within team/stadium guidelines – again in 2023. This isn’t a universal policy in professional sports, so, to me anyway, it’s the most important thing about Camden’s food options. Yards. If you don’t want to buy food and drink at a football game, you don’t have to. You can bring your own (within reason). This is a great feature.
My general opinion on changing franchise companies: I think it’s time for a shift. I rarely partake in stadium perks, but I’ve heard more complaints about the quality and selection of food and drink at Camden Yards in the past two seasons than I have in the past decade.
The most consistent thing lately has been about hot dog quality and beer options/cost. Fan experience seems to have waned since 2021, so why not try a new provider, especially one with experience doing the job?
An impressive showing in the top 100 list
This week Baseball America released its Top 100 prospects for 2023, and the Orioles lead all organizations with eight players, including the outfielder. Gunnar Henderson in the first place. He is the second consecutive Oriole to receive the designation, joining the catcher Adley Rochman in 2022. This marks the first time that teammates from the same draft—the Orioles selected Rochman #1 overall in 2019 and then took Henderson in the second round, #42 overall—respectively.
The other Orioles making the list: RHP Grayson Rodriguez (No. 6); The Hustler Jackson Holiday (No. 15); outfielder Colton Kauser (No. 41); Left DL Hall (No. 75); the subsequent Jordan Westberg (No. 76); Warrior Conor Norby (#93) and player Joey Ortiz (No. 95).
The Orioles have drafted all eight since 2017 and only one, Ortiz (Fourth Round, 2019) has been selected after the second round. This group, minus Holiday, will likely be in the majors sometime in 2023.
Because of poor records from 2017 to 2021, the Orioles have had relatively high draft picks in the past five years, but you still have to make the right picks and develop them well. Choosing a high level does not guarantee player success – nor does ranking the top 100 prospects.
And given where the club system has been in the past two decades, this showing is impressive, especially because none of the eight were signed as international amateurs. This is a fully project driven project. Given the potential for the Orioles’ downsizing position, the club should be able to add to the list of prospects with international amateurs signed since 2019. That’s the hope, anyway.
More depth triple a
The Orioles added two more players to their minor league staff. They announced Thursday that they have signed 30-year-old right-handed Red Jarrett to a minor league deal. A Virginia native who pitched at VMI, Garrett posted a 7.66 ERA and 2.35 WHIP in 20 big league relief games and 24 2/3 innings pitched with Detroit Tigers And Washington Nationals.
Garrett has allowed 22 baserunners in 9 1/3 innings with the Nationals in 2022, but he has a great arm (96 mph fastball) and has had some success in the minors (3.04 ERA in Triple A last year). He will likely fight for a roster spot at Triple-A Norfolk this spring with the chance of a major league call-up at some point.
On Tuesday, the Orioles sacked first baseman Lewin Diaz, ending an agonizing drive for the 26-year-old, who was waived by MarlinsAnd hackersOrioles and Brave, and was sold to the Braves by the Orioles this winter. He has been designated five times, and finally cleared waivers this week, allowing him to settle at Triple-A Norfolk.
567 OPS in 112 games with the Marlins in the past three years, but he’s a solid insurance left-hander at first base for the Orioles.
ump is “fresh” with local connections
Major League Baseball Thursday announced the promotion of 10 umpires to full-time status in the big leagues, including Germantown, Maryland, native Eric Bacchus. A 32-year-old product of Seneca Valley High (Montgomery County) and the University of Maryland, Bacchus has been an umpire in every major league baseball affiliate. He made his debut in the majors in 2020, and now he’s finally getting the official call to stay. Congratulations to Bacchus.
New promotions were necessary with the next 10 umpires retiring after 2022: Ted Barrett, Marty Foster, Greg Gibson, Tom Hallion, Sam Holbrook, Jerry Mills, Paul Nauert, Jim Reynolds, Tim Timmons and Bill Wilk.
We are waiting…
Since many of you have asked on social media, I thought I’d give an update that isn’t up to date. There was no new information about when media covering the Orioles would be allowed to see the organization’s open financials, Club president John Angelos also promised on Monday.
He said he would set a date next week for the books to be made available. Several media outlets applied to the Orioles that day, and I’ve checked back since. At this point, the date and time have not been determined. Hey, there’s still a week before the Angelus deadline, right?
(Top photo: James A. Pittman/USA Today)