Due to the WBC, Orioles starting early

Due to the WBC, Orioles starting early
February 23, 2013, 11:00 am
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SARASOTA, Fla. – Because of the World Baseball Classic, spring training is a bit elongated this year. The Orioles’ first game is 10 days earlier than last year.

“We play the schedule. That’s what you do,” manager Buck Showalter said Saturday morning.

“They didn’t spring this on us yesterday. We knew it was coming and you plan accordingly.”

Chris Dickerson is starting in right field and Nick Markakis is the designated hitter.

“We have 14 outfielders here, and I have a good feeling of what Nick can do,” Showalter said. “I want to get as many looks as I can at those guys.”

The Orioles play seven games in February; on Wednesday, they’ll have a split-squad game. Last year, they didn’t play their first games until Mar. 5, and they were against Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh.

In 2012, they played 30 exhibition games. This year, they play 33 against major league competition and one with Spain’s World Baseball Classic entry.