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Saturday Bird Droppings: Where it’s another Manny-less Orioles FanFest

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Orioles FanFest is today, although neither Manny Machado nor Jonathan Schoop will be there. Today’s O’s stuff: Buck Britton gets the job, the O’s farm system doesn’t, and more.

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 61 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. That is a mere Jason Garcia days until Opening Day, or, if you prefer, Pedro Florimon days, or John Maine days. It’s still a lot of days to go.

What we do not have is very many days until Orioles pitchers and catchers report to begin spring training in Sarasota. That is a mere 17 days away. It is practically right around the corner, and still the Orioles have a total of two starting pitchers.

There are zero days until Orioles FanFest. It’s today! The Orioles have done nothing, unless you count yesterday’s acquisition of possible future utility infielder Engelb Vielma. That’s not a made-up name. The trade was only for a player to be named later or cash, so it barely registers on the scale.

Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop are last minute non-participants at FanFest, as if the natives aren’t going to be restless enough already. It doesn’t really matter if a player is or isn’t at FanFest anyway, but the late notice of it will surely set people to wondering if there is something to be read in the tea leaves.

Another reason that it doesn’t matter is that everyone should have already accepted that Machado will be gone by this time next year, so in that sense, even if this latest FanFest absence is a sign that he will be gone... well, it was apparent long before now, you know? There will not be much excitement in the Baltimore Convention Center today.

Around the blogO’sphere

Notes on starting pitching market, contract talks, and more (School of Roch)
Three months ago, I wrote that the Orioles don’t seem to be serious about trying to improve the starting rotation. It’s late January and Roch says the Orioles aren’t even seriously in the mix for Andrew Cashner or Jason Vargas. I may have been right.

Orioles add infielder Engelb Vielma to utility mix in trade with Giants (Baltimore Sun)
This name reminds me of when Duquette brought Edgmer Escalona on board for about two months. Hopefully Engelb makes more of a difference than Edgmer.

Baltimore Orioles top 20 prospects for 2018 (Minor League Ball)
Over at SB Nation’s prospects blog, John Sickels ranks the O’s prospects for the year. He likes the system a little more than some.

Keith Law’s 2018 ranking of all 30 farm systems (ESPN)
...like Keith Law, who ranks the Orioles farm 23rd out of 30 teams.

Buck Britton on getting the manager’s job with Delmarva (Steve Melewski)
The Orioles are really committed to looking out for the less-talented older brothers of their players.

Birthdays and anniversaries

One current Oriole has a birthday today. Happy 28th birthday to Swaggy T himself, Tim Beckham.

There are also a couple of former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2004 eight-gamer Ken Huckaby, and 1979-85 platoon master John Lowenstein.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll (1832), World War I-era ruler Wilhelm II (1859), comic creator Frank Miller (1957), Super Bowl-winning former Ravens kicker Matt Stover (1968), and actress Rosamund Pike (1979).

On this day in history...

In 1343, Pope Clement VI issued a bull that justified the use of indulgences. This practice would later draw the ire of Martin Luther.

In 1606, Guy Fawkes and his Gunpowder Plot conspirators went on trial. This culminated with their executions on January 31.

In 1944, Soviet forces at last drove the Germans away from Leningrad, ending a siege that had lasted for 900 days.

In 1973, the signing of the Paris Peace Accords marked the end of the Vietnam War - at least, from an American perspective.

In 1980, six Americans who had escaped the takeover of the embassy in Iran made their way out of the country in what’s come to be called the “Canadian Caper.” A recent movie, Argo, presented a version of the escape.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 27 - or at least, unless there’s some big breaking news at Fanfest. LOL, I know, right? Have a safe Saturday.