Good morning Birdland. There are 29 days until Opening Day, which is a number that is currently being worn by the Orioles’ shiny new backstop, Welington Castillo. Prior to that, it was worn by a slew of failed starting pitchers (Tommy Hunter, David Hernandez, Chris Waters, Adam Loewen, Kurt Ainsworth) and sub-replacement-level veterans (Geronimo Berroa, Pete Incaviglia, Luis Polonia).
The O’s probably should’ve just banned this number in 2008 or so, but it lives on. If you look back far enough, you can actually find one good player who rocked #29: Ken Singleton, who wore it from 1975-84 and made three All Star appearances as an Oriole. On to the links:
Eutaw Street Report: Welington Castillo catching on or catching up? - Eutaw Street Report takes on the Welington Castillo WBC controversy. In case you were wondering what Gregg Zaun thinks about the whole thing, it’s your lucky day.
Roch Kubatko: Former Orioles still waiting for jobs - Old friends Nolan Reimold, Pedro Alvarez, and Steve Clevenger are all looking for jobs. Two of those aren’t surprising, but it’s pretty crazy that we’ve gotten to the point of talking about a minor league deal for Alvarez. Also, Steve Johnson was mentioned in this article but he just signed a minor league deal with the O’s yesterday.
Rich Dubroff / Press Box: Chance Sisco concentrating on defense in Orioles’ camp - Sisco’s defensive efforts have been the subject of some encouraging quotes from Buck Showalter.
Baltimore Sun: Ubaldo Jimenez, Orioles bullpen pitch four hit shutout in 1-0 win over Rays - The bad news: the O’s couldn’t hit Chris Archer at all. The good news: The Rays couldn’t hit any Oriole pitchers at all.
Roch Kubatko: Giavotella and Miley confident they avoided serious injuries - Some positive news about two guys who were each struck by line drives on Friday.
It’s March 5th, and if today is your birthday, happy birthday. You share it with a few former O’s including L.J. Hoes, Erik Bedard, Jeffrey Hammonds, and Jose Mercedes.
You also share it with Lu Blue, a fantastically named first baseman who played for the Browns before they moved to Baltimore. I had never heard of Blue, but the guy could play; he ranks 50th all time in OBP, one spot ahead of Jim Thome.
That’s mostly thanks to a walk rate over 15% that the O’s could certainly use right now. He’s one of only eight players with a career OBP that is 1) higher than his slugging percentage, and 2) over .400.
On this day in history:
1770: Civilians clashed with British soldiers in the Boston Massacre.
1836: Samuel Colt patented the first production-model revolver.
1933: One day after his inauguration and in the midst of the Great Depression, FDR declared a “bank holiday,” closing all U.S. banks temporarily.
1946: Winston Churchill coined the phrase “Iron Curtain” during a speech in Missouri.
1963: Country music star Patsy Cline and several others were killed in a plane crash.
1982: The Soviet probe “Venera 14” landed on Venus, giving us images of Venus’ surface that are still some of the best we have.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.