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Sunday Bird Droppings

It's Hot Stove Time! Let's take a look, kick some tires, have limited interest and float an offer!

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Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

In Letting Nick Markakis Leave, Orioles' Dan Duquette Not Swayed By Sentiment
"After all, if there's one thing Duquette has proved during his three years with the Birds, it's that he's not big on sentimentality." Paul Folkemer weighs in on Nick Markakis leaving.

Outfielders a top target for Baltimore Orioles at winter meetings - Baltimore Sun
Gee, I bet they are. We need, what, two now?

Madden: Despite exodus in Baltimore, Buck doesn't stop here - NY Daily News
What does O's manager Buck Showalter have to say about all the free agent departures? "All of a sudden, I’ve gotten a whole lot dumber." I seriously doubt that's the case.

After huge losses, what's next for Orioles?
I'm guessing 162 games in the regular seasons, and if we're lucky, a few more after that.

School of Roch: Orioles have "limited" interest in Aoki
"I'm not sure whether this qualifies as being "in on" Nori Aoki. At the very least, they're kicking the tires. I'd rather go with that tired hot stove phrase." So, kicking the tires it is.

Upton is sought after, and there's a reason for that: He's a steal at $14.5M - CBSSports.com
If the O's are going to be aggressive at the Winter Meetings, my bet is Justin Upton is the bat they acquire. Question is, what players will it cost for one season of his services?

School of Roch: The week in review and comparing De Aza to Markakis
"Over the past three seasons spanning 426 games and 1,608 at-bats, De Aza has batted .266/.329/.401 with 80 doubles, 18 triples, 34 home runs, 153 RBIs and 221 runs scored. Over the past three seasons spanning 419 games and 1,696 at-bats, Markakis has batted .279/.342/.396 with 79 doubles, four triples, 37 home runs, 163 RBIs and 229 runs scored." And thus ends the math portion of today's Bird Droppings.

Steve Melewski: Prospect Profile: Oliver Drake makes it back to the 40-man roster
"I was kind of curious what free agency would be like and then the Orioles offered the 40-man spot and I was thrilled. I took it right away," Oliver Drake said." Guess he wasn't THAT curious to see what unemployment felt like after all.

Steve Melewski: For starters: O's rotation could add innings according to pitching coach Dave Wallace
Pitching Coach Dave Wallace on how to improve upon last year's performance: "If we can just push the envelope for a few more outs. Instead of going 5 1/3, you are going 6 1/3 and you are into the seventh. Those outs, as you see during the course of the season, I would say between the fifth and the seventh, those six outs, three of them turn out to be real important. If we just get those important outs a little more from our starters and not go the bullpen quite as much, that would be great."

Happy Birthday to former Oriole Hal Smith.

On this date in Orioles history, in 1977, "In a swap that helps both teams‚ the Orioles trade P Rudy May‚ Randy Miller‚ and Bryn Smith to the Expos for P Don Stanhouse‚ P Joe Kerrigan‚ and OF Gary Roenicke." And in 2001, "the Orioles sign free agent OF Brady Anderson to a 1-year contract."

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of Open Thread is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.