SARASOTA, Fla. – Nate McLouth didn’t have to make the trip to rainy Bradenton on Tuesday. He’s a regular with the Orioles now.
A year ago, McLouth was fighting to save his career in Bradenton with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had an awful start to his 2012, and the Pirates let him go in May.
It seems so long ago. It’s hard to imagine, but McLouth didn’t join the Orioles until last August after a two-month audition in Norfolk.
“I’m more confident. I’m excited because of what happened last year. I know it’s not last year anymore,” McLouth said.
“Those feelings and memories don’t go away. As much as that was, I think it gives everyone a little more excitement this year.”
After being the Orioles best performing hitter in last season’s Division Series, McLouth had a solid offer from Tampa Bay, but he chose to come back to Baltimore.
“I enjoyed my time here, and the team was good. Those two factors are pretty important things. I was happy to have the opportunity to come back,” McLouth said.
“The playoffs are kind of an addicting feeling. As much as it’s the same games, and you’re playing against the same team, it’s just different. It was so much fun, and I think everybody’s looking forward to the opportunity to get back there.”