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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are still moving slowly

The Orioles will hire a new boss eventually, but it’s November now and they haven’t yet. Today’s stuff: Kline on the way up, Andreoli on the way out, and another reminder the O’s were bad.

Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 146 days remaining until the next Orioles game. They still do not have a president of baseball operations. They will probably not have one by tomorrow when free agency officially begins and any team can sign any player on the market.

In a sign that even after a 115-loss season I can still have foolish hope, I genuinely believed that the Orioles would find a new boss by now. They have not done so and according to a report earlier in the week they are not close to doing so. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. I am smarter than to have ever thought they might decide something within four weeks.

I shouldn’t say that the Orioles have done nothing at all. They are, slowly but surely, parting ways with some people who’ve lingered through multiple front offices, including yesterday evening’s news that the team decided not to renew the contract of John Stockstill, who has been in the front office since 2005.

It does look like the new hire, whenever they make it, is going to have a lot of open positions to fill. That’s good in the sense that they can put their stamp on the team - as long as their vision is good - but it’ll be a lot of work to do before they can, well, get to the real work of making the O’s better.

Nonetheless, here we are, with the calendar turned to November and the Orioles still adrift with no leadership whatsoever. They are not the only team in this position. The Giants are also still out there searching for a new head of baseball operations. It appears that San Francisco considered a Dodgers executive as a candidate, so waiting for the end of the World Series to really get moving in earnest may have been necessary. Is that also the case for the O’s? Who knows?

For now, it’s fine, I guess. The Orioles aren’t going to sign any free agents who matter this offseason. Doing that after a 115-loss season would be nuts. The caretaker skeleton crew is apparently up to the task of maintaining the 40-man roster, with the last couple of days seeing the addition of Marylander Branden Kline and the subtraction of why-was-this-guy-ever-here outfielder John Andreoli.

Other decisions remain to be made when the 60-day disabled list players come back onto the 40-man roster, since there is no disabled list over the offseason. The good news, such as it is, is that the Orioles have a number of talentless filler players with no real upside on the roster, so it won’t be very hard to dump those guys and whoever does end up taking over eventually isn’t all that likely to miss a single one of them.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles lose Andreoli on waiver claim (School of Roch)
I wouldn’t say they’ve “lost” him, exactly...

Remember the Orioles for what they were (Fangraphs)
The headline made me think this article would be about how the Orioles were good not too long ago. Instead, it includes this true sentence: “The Orioles were worse than the projections at every single position.”

Small checkpoints of Orioles offseason don’t measure up to significance of pending decisions (Baltimore Sun)
In short, nothing matters until the Orioles bring in a new head of baseball operations.

Branden Kline’s impressive comeback continues with ascension to 40-man (Steve Melewski)
I don’t think there’s anything Melewski loves more than a minor league grinder who’s on the cusp of making it to MLB. Best of luck to the local guy, Kline.

Orioles likely to use Rule 5 draft again (Baltimore Baseball)
With the first pick of every player left off of a 40-man roster, the eventual new boss of the Orioles may find some temptation in the Rule 5 draft. Just don’t pick multiple jabronis, okay?

Birthdays and anniversaries

In 1960, Orioles shortstop Ron Hansen received the American League Rookie of the Year Award, the first time anyone from the franchise had ever done so. Fellow Orioles Chuck Estrada and Jim Gentile also received votes.

In 1979, Edward Bennett Williams completed his purchase of the Orioles. He remained the owner until his death in 1988.

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2012 infielder Steve Tolleson, 1993 starter Fernando Valenzuela, and the late Jim Pyburn of the 1955-57 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Revolutionary War-era ally Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte (1720), pornography purveyor Larry Flynt (1942), one-armed Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen (1963), and actress Toni Collette (1972).

On this day in history...

In 1512, Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was first unveiled to the public.

In 1604, Shakespeare’s Othello was performed for the first time at Whitehall Palace in London. Exactly seven years later, his play The Tempest had its premiere performance in the same place.

In 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act, taxes and other restrictions levied on the North American colonies. This act gave rise to one of the slogans preceding the American Revolution, still in use to this day on District of Columbia license plates: “No taxation without representation.”

In 1938, “the match of the century” horse race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral took place at Pimlico in Baltimore. In an upset, Seabiscuit was the winner.

In 1955, war broke out between North and South Vietnam. The conflict lasted for nearly two decades, much of which included American involvement.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 1 - or at least, unless something happens later, which it probably won’t, but hey, you never know. Have a safe Thursday.