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World Baseball Classic - Pool F - Game 4 - United States v Puerto Rico
Captain America did his best, but USA fell 6-5 to Puerto Rico.
Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

There are a mere 16 days until Opening Day. It was the uniform number of Wei-Yin Chen, Tim Raines, Brady Anderson for one year, but most famously, Orioles Hall of Fame pitcher Scott McGregor. I still wear my sweet Mandarin Chinese 16 shrisey on occasion, because WYC may be gone from Birdland, but he’s not forgotten. Onto the news....

Puerto Rico beats United States 6-5 to advance to WBC semis - The Mercury News

Adam Jones did his part, blasting another home run, but Mychal Givens was lifted mid-at bat in the 6th. Kind of tells you how his inning was going, huh? The U.S. plays the Dominican Republic in a “Win or go home” game tonight. And the winner gets to fly to Japan to play Tuesday.

Trey Mancini homers as Orioles beat Pirates, 8-6 - The Sun

He played first base and is apparently forcing his way into the discussion on who goes north to Baltimore (as opposed to Norfolk, I suppose).

Gabriel Ynoa, Chris Lee audition to fill Chris Tillman's spot in Orioles rotation - The Sun

Let’s face it, those two plus probably more are eventually going to get chances to start in this year’s Orioles’ rotation. It’s just a matter of who gets hurt/sucks bad enough to force an opening.

MLB rumors: Phillies planning pursuit of Orioles' Zach Britton? - NJ.com

You can’t have him yet, Philadelphia! You and your overrated cheese steaks will just have to wait! Seriously, Cheez Wiz on steak sandwiches? Who does that? Provolone or get out.

Pedro Alvarez dives into outfield work during first game in right field - The Sun

“Alvarez had one defensive chance, a sinking line drive in the right-center field gap. It landed a few steps from him, but Alvarez dove and snared it to hold the runner to a single.” I’m still trying top picture in my head what that looks like and yeah, nothing. How do you dive AND play it off a hop?

Showalter on Ynoa, Mancini and more after O’s beat Pirates - MASN Sports

“We have a lot of options and we’ve got plenty of time to shake it out and we’ll continue to do that. That is why we had Mike (Wright) and (Jayson) Aquino and all the guys throwing. We get another look tomorrow in Tampa.” - Thus spake Buck.

Ondrusek clears release waivers - MASN Sports

In case you were wondering about the fate of Logan Ondrusek.

Tillman on his shoulder, Ondrusek released, B game lineup - MASN Sports

“Part of the shot is it buys you time to take off, so do the shot and I think take five, six, seven days off. Obviously, we’re going to do exercises. It’s not like I’m sitting around not doing anything for that amount of time. When we start exercises, probably in the next two or three days would be my guess and then kind of get a feel from there for where we’re at.” And there’s that from Chris Tillman.

The Orioles’ Season Ticket Tag Day Is March 25 - WJZ-TV

“With the start of the regular season fast approaching, the Orioles will host Tag Day on Saturday, March 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.”

Birthdays and History

Happy Birthday, Trey Mancini! I see you already got yourself a home run yesterday. He shares this birthday with former Orioles Craig Tatum, Geronimo Berrora, Randy Miller, and Dick Littlefield. It’s also the birthday of famous people including Pres. Grover Cleveland 1837; engine inventor Rudolf Diesel 1858; "Peace in our time" British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain 1869; actor Peter Graves 1926; author John Updike 1932; former South African President Frederik W. de Klerk 1936; country singer Charley Pride 1938; singer Wilson Pickett 1941; TV host and Maryland native Mike Rowe 1962; Alice in Chain guitarist Jerry Cantrell 1966; and NASCAR driver Ryan Truex 1992.

Today in Baltimore baseball history...

1974 - At Pompano Beach training camp, country singer Charley Pride (on his birthday!) plays for the Texas Rangers against pitcher Jim Palmer and the Baltimore Orioles. A former Negro League player, Pride grounds out and singles in two at-bats, as the Orioles coast, 14 - 2.

1984 - Charlie Lau, renowned batting instructor, dies in Key Colony Beach, FL, at age 50 after a long bout with cancer. Lau, whose major league career batting average was .255, earned his fame as the Kansas City Royals batting coach from 1971 to 1978, where his star pupil was George Brett. Lau also served as a batting coach for the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox and wrote a book called "The Art of Hitting .300".

On this day in world history...

0037 - The Roman Senate annuls Tiberius’ will and proclaims Caligula emperor. That worked out well.

1766 - Britain repealed the Stamp Act, thus staving off a revolution among the colonists. Oh, wait...

1818 - The U.S. Congress approved the first pensions for government service.

1899 - Phoebe, a moon of the planet Saturn, was discovered. Wonder if astronomers were singing 'Smelly Cat' when they did so.

1910 - The first opera by a U.S. composer performed at the Met in New York City.

1913 - Greek King George I was killed by an assassin, thus starting World War I, no wait, wrong assassination. Carry on.

1931 - Schick Inc. displayed the first electric shaver. The New York Yankees immediately bought controlling interest in the company. OK, they didn't. But they should.

1949 - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was ratified.

1990 - The first free elections took place in East Germany.

1990 - The 32-day lockout of baseball players ended.

Consider this your discussion space for the NCAA Championships tonight. Sure, Penn State has it just about wrapped up, with Ohio State, Oklahoma State, and Missouri fighting for second place. And just like any year, there were some upsets, with top seeds like Gilman and Tomasello falling, but that’s the beauty of the tournament. Wait, y’all did know I meant the NCAA Wrestling Championships, right? Finals start at 8 pm. on ESPN.