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Sunday Bird Droppings

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Every beat writer in America should take the week before Winter Meetings off because there sure isn't anything to write about.

Ryan Flaherty
Ryan Flaherty
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

A look at the Orioles' 2017 payroll obligations - Steve Melewski
Did you know the Orioles have only 8 players under contract for guaranteed dollars for next season? They have 10 that are eligible for arbitration. Lots of interesting numbers and estimates in this piece.

This, that and the other - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko is fairly certain the Orioles will make a Rule 5 draft claim on someone, and I'd say he's probably right.

Orioles' goodwill trip to Cuba was educational but not really transformational - Baltimore Sun
"Orioles trip to Cuba in 1999 was an eye-opener, but change has come slower than expected."

Birthdays and History

Happy Birthday to  former Orioles Jason Berken, Tim Laker, Randy "Moose" Milligan, Bill Short, and Johnny Schmitz. They share this birthday with famous people including Bruce Lee 1940; Eddie Rabbit 1941; Jimi Hendrix 1942; Caroline Kennedy 1957; Charlie Benante (Anthrax) 1962; Mike Bordin (Faith No More) 1962; Fisher Stevens 1963; Robin Givens 1964; and Jaleel White 1976.

On this day in Baltimore baseball history...

1984 - The American League Gold Glove team is announced, and it is made up of the same nine players as the 1983 team: catcher Lance Parrish, Orioles first baseman Eddie Murray, second baseman Lou Whitaker, third baseman Buddy Bell, shortstop Alan Trammell, outfielders Dwight Evans, Dave Winfield and Dwayne Murphy, and pitcher Ron Guidry.

On this day in world history...

1701 - Anders Celsius was born in Sweden. He was the inventor of the Celsius thermometer.

1839 - The American Statistical Association was founded in Boston.

1910 - New York's Pennsylvania Station opened.

1978 - San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, a gay-rights activist, were shot to death inside City Hall by Dan White, a former supervisor.

2008 - The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was taken out of service after more than 30 years. The ship was launched on September 20, 1967.

Consider this your discussion space for NCAA Wrestling - Grapple at the Garden, where Maryland will take on Columbia and Princeton.