SARASOTA, Fla. -- Any baseball beat reporter will tell you: They're an odd bunch. They also have a good bit of idle time on their hands. A good portion of your daily job is waiting -- waiting in the clubhouse for a guy you want, sitting in the dugout waiting on a press conference or staked out at batting practice, again waiting, for an update.
It was during one of these waiting games two springs ago, this time after manager Buck Showalter's pregame scrum, that the #OriolesMediaSelfie was born. Ellen DeGeneres had just hosted the Oscars and taken an epic selfie in hopes of breaking the Internet. Why not, proposed the Baltimore Sun's Eduardo Encina, take on our own version with the beat crew?
While we didn't break the Internet or come close to the amount of retweets that Ellen got, the Orioles beat crew wasn't deterred. After all, we had plenty of time to gain Internet fame or make The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
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Three days later, with Hall of Famer Jim Palmer and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette both hanging out in the media work room, the selfie struck again. The following spring, the rule was laid out: anybody who cut through the media work room, typically en route to the cafeteria, was fair game for a selfie.
The usual cast of characters: Encina the picture taker, Comcast SportsNet's Rich Dubroff, MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko and me weren't allowed to lure anyone into the media room. But when Cal Ripken Jr. visited camp and had just gotten a new phone, we couldn't resist. It's probably been the most memorable #OriolesMediaSelfie to date.
In total, there have been roughly a dozen selfies. Adam Jones came for the doughnuts. Chris Davis was just trying to find the quickest route to the bathroom. Hyun Soo Kim was coming for his press conference. All obliged. (There are no repeat selfies, so they're off the hook for future visits.)
It works because it's Spring Training and everyone's in a good mood. It's a fun, light-hearted way to pass the many hours the same beat reporters spend in the same media work room for six weeks every spring. And now that these rules have been laid out publicly, our two-year selfie-versary could very well be our last. Consider yourself warned.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.