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Matt Wieters returns to Camden Yards, his home field for the previous eight seasons

Matt Wieters, still in his first months in a Nationals uniform, returns to Camden Yards for the first time on Monday. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

BALTIMORE — If it weren’t for the horde of reporters circled around him in the visitor’s dugout at Camden Yards, one might not have guessed that Matt Wieters’s return to Baltimore was a big deal at all. The way Wieters spoke — calmly, unemotionally, matter-of-factly — downplayed his return to the stadium where he played home games for the first eight seasons of his professional career.

“It’s a different vantage point for sure,” Wieters said. “But it was a good feeling coming in today and getting to walk into the yard like I did for so many years. It definitely put a smile on my face, and I’m excited to play here again.”

When pressed for standout memories of his time in Baltimore, Wieters named a few before admitting he had too many to recount. His debut, on May 29, 2009, would always stick out, he said. Getting to the playoffs for the first time, he said, would also remain in his mind for good. He said the relationships will linger most of all, the friendships with trainers and teammates and everyone in black and orange. He will sit a few inches from a few of those friends as they step into the batter’s box Monday night.

“Hopefully there’s not a mic around somewhere,” Wieters joked. “It’ll be good seeing a lot of these guys when they come to the plate.”

Orioles reporters asked him about the process of leaving Baltimore — when he knew he would leave, how difficult the decision was, whether he was surprised the Orioles did not pursue him. Wieters answered dutifully.

“I would say when I signed with Washington, it was going to be a long shot,” he joked, before explaining that the decision was the right one, and therefore not difficult. He added that he was not surprised by much of anything this offseason, since he had not entered it with expectations.

Limiting expectations seems to be Wieters’s general strategy for the whole week, which includes two games in Washington and these two in Baltimore. Shortly after 7 p.m., he will step out in front of the only fans he ever knew, and be at their mercy when he steps into the batter’s box.

“I don’t know. I don’t want to really anticipate any reception. I enjoyed my time here,” Wieters said. “Warm reception or not, it won’t change my feelings about the city and about the fans. I just hope I remember to walk into this dugout and not the other one.”

Wieters said he expects to be “a little bit amped up,” a condition that might be hard to discern in a man as stoic as he is. He laughed off the notion that he might be able to provide his teammates with a scouting report on former teammate Kevin Gausman — though no one on either team might know the righty’s stuff better.

As for the alleged rivalry between the Orioles and Nationals, Wieters acknowledged that these series become far more heated when both teams are good. The Nationals are alone in first place and the Orioles are tied for that spot in the American League East. Both teams, then, are good. The difference, Wieters explained, is the feel of his new team versus the old one.

“It’s a matter of having guys who have played on other teams and have come here signing free agent deals. Everybody has a good feel of who they are because they’ve spent time in their career other places,” Wieters said. “The great thing about Baltimore is that we all came together and we all learned together. We all kind of learned the same way. Over here, everybody’s kind of got some different experiences they can throw into the mix.”

More baseball:

Minor League Monday: Introducing Daniel Johnson

A look ahead to the Beltway Series: Wieters returns to Camden Yards

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