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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles care about your safety

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You will be safer from foul balls and bats at Camden Yards this season. No promises about the rotation, though. In today's links, Hardy eyes retirement, the Jays eye Tillman, more.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 63 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This uniform number was last used by Tyler Wilson as recently as this past season. We wish him the best of luck as his career takes him to Korea for the coming season.

We're also now down to just 19 days until pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota to mark the start of spring training. When do you think it's time to start really panicking about the Orioles not plugging any of the holes in the rotation? At the moment, it's still just an abstract concern, but that will turn into concrete reality before we know it.

The good news is that, although there won't be a very good starting rotation to entice you to come watch the Orioles this season, you're now going to be safer from errant bats and batted balls. The Orioles announced on Wednesday that they will be extending the protective netting from Section 16 to Section 58 - that's roughly first base around to third base.

Also on Wednesday was the announcement of the promotions and giveaway schedule for this season. If you want to know when to get a new Hawaiian shirt, a puffy vest, and other goodies, check out our rundown of the loot for the year.

None of it makes the team on the field any better, but hey, it's fun to get Orioles swag.

Around the blogO'sphere

Notes on Hardy, Stewart, Hays (School of Roch)
J.J. Hardy could retire if the right offer doesn’t come along.

O's pleased with Mountcastle's transition to 3B (Orioles.com)
This is a nice headline to write. Hopefully it’s still true in a year.

Tim Beckham's weird second half (Fangraphs)
It’s for the fantasy baseball part of Fangraphs, but it’s still interesting to try to dive into what may have happened with Beckham last year.

MLB Network's Brian Kenny: Former Orioles ace Mike Mussina belongs in the Hall of Fame (Baltimore Sun)
All right-thinking people already know that Mussina belongs in the Hall. Here’s a bunch of quotes from Brian Kenny in The Sun explaining why that is.

In the minors, the pitch clock has made a difference (Steve Melewski)
Bowie’s manager doesn’t have any complaints about there being a pitch clock down there. It could be coming to MLB soon!

Blue Jays have shown interest in Chris Tillman (Bluebird Banter)
One gets the impression that our counterparts at the SB Nation Blue Jays blog are not filled with enthusiasm with this rumor.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 1992 two-gamer Richie Lewis, 1989 short-timer Francisco Melendez, and 1963-68 pitcher Wally Bunker. Today is Bunker's 73rd birthday, so extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: chemist Robert Boyle (1627), astronomer Joseph-Louis Lagrange (1736), author Virginia Woolf (1882), and singer-songwriter Alicia Keys (1981).

On this day in history...

In 1533, Henry VIII of England married his second wife, Anne Boleyn, in secret. The marriage ended rather poorly for Boleyn, though her daughter went on to become Elizabeth I.

In 1858, on the occasion of the marriage of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter Victoria to the future Kaiser of the German Empire, Frederick III, Felix Mendelssohn's Wedding March was played as a processional. This is still popular today. The younger Victoria's son, Wilhelm II, is less popular.

In 1924, the Winter Olympics opened in Chamonix, in the French Alps, marking the beginning of the first Winter Olympics.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy delivered a live news conference on television, the first time a president had ever done so.

In 1971, Charles Manson was found guilty of murder and conspiracy to commit murder of seven people.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on January 25 - or at least, unless something happens later. Hey, you never know. Have a safe Thursday.