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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where Orioles spring training is two weeks away

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Pitchers and catchers will be in Sarasota in two weeks - but only two of them are currently in the rotation. Today’s stuff: Relying on homers, Machado move fallout, and more.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 58 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number was used at different times by both Jeremy Hellickson and Donnie Hart last year. Time will tell whether Hart reclaims the number - or whether he makes this year’s team at all.

We’re now down to just two weeks until Orioles pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota to mark the beginning of spring training. That’s heartening for anyone in the Baltimore area who woke up to what is, at this writing, expected to be a nuisance level of snow on Tuesday morning. If baseball is soon back, spring will soon be here as well.

It’s less heartening for Orioles fans specifically, given all of the issues there are with the team, mostly with the starting rotation. They may not get even one pitcher before the start of spring training, or even afterwards.

That would be rather depressing, unless the O’s hit some kind of one in a million shot where all of Nestor Cortes, Miguel Castro, and the best of last year’s Norfolk/Baltimore shuttle riders become useful pitchers. I won’t be holding my breath.

Around the blogO’sphere

Zach Britton on being "maybe a little ahead of schedule" (School of Roch)
Some people continue to cling to optimistic projections of Britton possibly returning in May. I hope they’re right, but I don’t expect nice things as an Orioles fan.

Examining the fallout from the Orioles' decision to put Manny Machado at shortstop (Baltimore Sun)
One reasonable thought contained here is that this is another instance of disagreement between Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette, with Duquette’s acquisition of Tim Beckham to play shortstop being brushed off. I mean, he could always have traded Manny Machado...

Dan Duquette likes Orioles' direction for '18 (Orioles.com)
The captain of the Titanic probably liked his direction right until the ship ran into an iceberg.

Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman ready to step up as rotation anchors for Orioles (Baltimore Sun)
This is good news, being as they are currently the only guys in the starting rotation.

Coolbaugh on homer reliance, Cortes on rotation shot (Steve Melewski)
“We’ve got to be more consistent,” said Coolbaugh. It probably couldn’t hurt.

Putting Jonathan Schoop's absence from FanFest in perspective (Baltimore Sun)
Unless any of the involved parties - including fans - holds a grudge over it, this probably won’t end up mattering. Remains to be seen whether there will be any grudges, however.

More thoughts from FanFest: Machado's contract, Joseph's mentoring, more (Baltimore Baseball)
Friend of the blog Paul Folkemer’s FanFest roundup includes one more reason why Caleb Joseph is the best.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 1978/80 reliever Joe Kerrigan, 1965-72 infielder and later manager Davey Johnson, and the late Walt Dropo of the 1959-61 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882), historian Barbara W. Tuchman (1912), “We Didn’t Start The Fire” lyric subject (British politician sex) John Profumo (1915), actress Vanessa Redgrave (1937), singer-songwriter Phil Collins (1951), and actor Christian Bale (1975).

On this day in history...

In 1648, the Eighty Years’ War effectively came to an end when Spain and the Dutch Republic reached the Peace of Munster, in which Spain recognized the latter’s independence.

In 1649, England’s King, Charles I, was beheaded. Twelve years later on the exact same day, Oliver Cromwell, who deposed that king and signed the death warrant, was dug up - he’d died in 1658 - and ritually executed.

In 1835, an American president suffered an attempted assassination for the first time. Richard Lawrence attempted to shoot President Andrew Jackson, but failed and was subdued by a crowd that included several Congressmen and the president.

In 1945, US Army Rangers and Filipino guerrillas carried out “The Great Raid” on a Japanese POW camp at Cabanatuan. The raid liberated more than 500 American POWs who had survived the Bataan Death March and been held in the camp ever since.

In 1968, Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces launched the Tet Offensive, an operation that, though it ended in a US and South Vietnamese victory, exposed as lies the prevailing US government line that the Vietnam War was on the way to victory.

In 1969, the Beatles played their last public performance on a rooftop of Apple Records in London. This concert ended when it was broken up by the police.

**

And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 30 - or at least, unless something happens later, which, with the way this offseason has gone, it probably won’t. Have a safe Tuesday.