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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles can dazzle with double plays

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Switching Machado to shortstop will ripple on the Orioles roster - but at least one person likes the double play combo.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 56 days to go until Orioles Opening Day. This uniform number is in use currently, and most memorably, by Darren O'Day, so may we all go about our day with a little funky side-arming spirit. Do not actually do this if side-arming at your job will have negative effects.

We're also now down to just 12 days until Orioles pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota to mark the beginning of spring training. The spring training radio schedule was announced on Wednesday. The first time you will get to hear Orioles broadcasters calling something resembling an Orioles game will be February 23. Think Dan Duquette signs a starter by then?

Today marks the day where we are in the month where spring training begins. This milestone is probably more meaningful to those who have the opportunity to travel and take in some of spring training. I have to admit that, from the standpoint of being a blogger trying to find something to say about it all when I really wish there was real baseball, spring training can be rather tedious.

Hopefully it means something to Duquette. I can't stress enough how unappealing it is to imagine the Orioles plowing on into the coming season with their current rotation candidates. He has to sign someone who does not suck! He just has to. Or else he has to trade Manny Machado and stop pretending the team could do anything this year. I'm not expecting today to be the day for either one.

Around the blogO'sphere

Moving Manny Machado to shortstop elevates Orioles' double play combo in one ranking (Baltimore Sun)
It doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot that one national writer thinks the Orioles now have the second-best double play combo in MLB - behind the Astros - but hey, it’s always nice when people write nice things about the Orioles.

More on Machado, Beckham, and Mountcastle (School of Roch)
FanFest is the gift that keeps on giving to Orioles beat writers, and by extension to me. Here, among the notes are that Ryan Mountcastle is expected to get into a number of road games in spring training.

Minor league podcast: A spotlight on the IronBirds and the O's 2017 draft class (Baltimore Baseball)
If you’re in the mood for a deep dive into the 2017 Orioles draft class, the folks podcasting for Baltimore Baseball have got you covered.

A look at the player development forum at FanFest (Steve Melewski)
Some of the players Duquette talked up include DJ Stewart, Cedric Mullins, and Alex Wells.

O's Truck Day heralds imminent start of camp (Orioles.com)
A whole lot of Orioles equipment got loaded into trucks at Camden Yards on Wednesday with the destination of Sarasota.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2012 short-timer Joe Mahoney, 1998 reserve outfielder Rich Becker, 1996 starter Kent Mercker, and 1964-76 outfielder Paul Blair.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: early ice hockey owner Conn Smythe (1895), actor Clark Gable (1901), poet/playwright/author Langston Hughes (1902), author Muriel Spark (1918), singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley (1968), punchline comedian Pauly Shore (1968), singer-songwriter Jason Isbell (1979), and One Direction crooner Harry Styles (1994).

On this day in history...

In 1865, President Lincoln symbolically added his signature to the Thirteenth Amendment, which, once adopted by the states, abolished slavery in this country.

In 1884, the first volume of the first Oxford English Dictionary - covering A to Ant - was published.

In 1896, Puccini's opera La boheme had its debut performance in Turin.

In 1964, The Beatles reached #1 on the charts in the USA for the first time, with "I Want To Hold Your Hand."

In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke apart on re-entry into the atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts in its crew.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on February 1 - or at least, unless something happens later. Hey, it's February now and spring training starts soon. They have to do something eventually, right? Right? Have a safe Thursday.