There are now 44 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This was the number used by Elrod Hendricks during the 1978 and 1979 seasons, his second, and brief (13 games) stint with the Orioles as a player. It has not been used since.
More importantly, today is the day that pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota to mark the beginning of spring training. We will probably hear about position players reporting early as well. This would be a lot more exciting if the Orioles had more than 40% of a starting rotation right now. Maybe Chris Tillman will report to Sarasota out of habit and the Orioles will just sign him, also out of habit. That wouldn’t be very exciting either.
Moves after the start of spring training have not been unusual during the Dan Duquette tenure as GM of the Orioles. He is taking it to a new level this year, though, with the Orioles needing at least two starting pitchers and apparently also desiring a lefty-batting corner outfielder. The inventory is there on pitchers, for now. We will see if that changes if specific players want to settle in somewhere now that spring training has arrived.
Around the blogO’sphere
Nothing is determined yet, but expect Mike Wright to start games for the Orioles in April (Baltimore Baseball)
I have written multiple times this offseason that the Orioles don’t seem to be serious about improving their starting rotation. This kind of article is why. The idea that Wright is some kind of possible Arrieta 2.0 is a joke.
Sifting through spring training storylines (School of Roch)
Roch notes that the Orioles are still talking to multiple agents and teams. Talk is cheap!
In pursuit of left-handed bat, Orioles weigh non-roster possibilities with familiar names (Baltimore Sun)
It seems that the Orioles may not be all that serious about trying to improve their outfield defense, or sign a lefty-batting outfielder better who is actually good.
One pitcher looks for a strong first impression, another for a new role (Steve Melewski)
I’m not rooting against either Michael Kelly or Miguel Castro here, but I sure hope that the Orioles aren’t counting on them.
Buck Showalter knows Manny Machado's greatness (MLB.com)
In a less exciting note, Buck also probably knows this is his last year managing Manny, if he even gets to the season with Machado still on the team.
Birthdays and anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2013/15 outfielder Henry Urrutia, 2016 short-time reliever Logan Ondrusek, 2002/06 reserve Howie Clark, poor intentional walker Todd Williams, and the late 1954/57 infielder Jim Brideweser.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: economist Thomas Robert Malthus (1766), sound barrier-breaker Chuck Yeager (1923), television’s Jerry Springer (1944), and musician/actor Henry Rollins (1961).
On this day in history...
In 951, Guo Wei, an Assistant Military Commissioner of the Later Han dynasty, took it upon himself to overthrow the Turkic emperor, proclaiming himself leader of a new Later Zhou dynasty. His dynasty lasted only nine years.
In 1542, Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII of England, was executed on the charge of adultery. Helpfully for Henry, Parliament passed a bill of attainder against Catherine, after having passed an ex post facto law proclaiming her alleged earlier conduct treason. Such injustice from Parliament is part of why Article I, Section 9 of the US Constitution bans these types of laws.
In 1739, a Persian force led by Nader Shah of Iran defeated the Mughals under Muhammad in the Battle of Karnal. This was a decisive victory for the Persians despite being outnumbered six to one. There are those historians who believe this defeat hastened the Mughal collapse and left India open for the British East India Trading Company.
In 1945, British bombers were dispatched to the city of Dresden, loaded with incendiary bombs. A resulting firestorm over three days of Allied bombing killed as many as 25,000, mostly civilians.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 13 - or at least, until something happens later. Pitchers and catchers are reporting! Let’s hope there are no surprise (to fans) offseason injuries revealed when they report, like what happened with Tillman last year. Have a safe Tuesday, and go Team USA!