Orioles, Davis launch a new season at Camden Yards
Davis sat out the entire 2014 playoffs while serving a 25-game suspension for using Adderall. The suspension ended after the Orioles opened the season on the road Monday against Tampa Bay, so Davis will have already played in two games when he starts at first base on Friday against Toronto.
''At the end of the season last year I looked to see where we started,'' Davis said Thursday. ''I didn't want to miss the opening day at home, so I was relieved to find out we started in Tampa.''
Davis could only imagine how he will feel during pregame introductions while running on the orange carpet from the bullpen to the infield.
''I think I was a little emotional just getting on the plane last night,'' he said. ''I hope I can hold it together. I feel like I have this image of myself as a tough guy, so it would look pretty bad if the starting first baseman runs down there crying and blubbering like a baby.''
Davis last played at Camden Yards on Sept. 10, the final day before his suspension started. The Orioles went on to clinch the AL East without him, then beat Detroit in the postseason before being swept by Kansas City in the AL Championship Series.
A sellout crowd - and rain - is expected for the team's 2015 home debut. The game will follow a ceremony honoring Baltimore's first division crown since 1997.
''For some reason, even though we played in Tampa, until you come home and play in front of your crowd it doesn't feel like the season has started yet.'' Orioles closer Zach Britton said.
Baltimore took two of three from the Rays before heading home after a lengthy stay in Florida that began in mid-February with spring training drills.
''Until you get out of Florida, you kind of associate everything with spring training,'' manager Buck Showalter said. ''Think about the last time we actually played a game here. It's been a while.''
The Blue Jays, meanwhile, opened the season with three games at Yankee Stadium and have to endure three more games in Baltimore before opening their home schedule on Monday.
''It's tough, but we're looking to get off to a good start,'' Toronto manager John Gibbons said in the visitor's clubhouse at Yankee Stadium. ''We had a good spring. We're confident. But it's never easy opening up in those places, especially here and then Baltimore's going to be a tough place to play. They've got a good team. So it would definitely be helpful to get off to a good start.''
Mark Buehrle will start for the Blue Jays. Although the left-hander owns a decent 3.57 lifetime ERA against Baltimore, he knows this won't just be another game.
''There's obviously the atmosphere, and it's a buildup,'' Buehrle said. ''If you let the crowd get you pumped up, or worry about the crowd or get amped up, then you're not going to be yourself and you're not going to do a good job.''
Coming off his finest year in the majors, Bud Norris will pitch for the Orioles. The right-hander went 15-8 in the regular season before going 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in two postseason starts.
''What we accomplished last year was really exciting for the city and for us,'' Norris said. ''To come home and see the fans on opening weekend in Baltimore is going to be outstanding. We love playing here.''
AP Sports Writer Mike Fitzpatrick in New York contributed to this story.