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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles claim they have eight starters

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The Orioles have a bunch of guys working out as starters in camp, which doesn’t mean they have a starting rotation. Today’s stuff: Zach Britton’s future, lots about leaders, and more.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 42 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number has been retired all across baseball in honor of Jackie Robinson, but was last used by Lenny Webster from 1997-99. It is also, as all fans of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy know, the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

The spring training countdown is over! The baseball season has started. Position players aren’t yet required to report, although many have. Pitchers are doing fielding practice, throwing bullpens, and in seven weeks, some of them will be the Orioles who start the season with the team. If we’re lucky, many of them will be good.

My heart hurts today thinking about all of the people who went to school in Parkland, Florida yesterday thinking it would be a day just like any other who were shot to death. It hurts to think about their families and friends who lost a loved one. I don’t have any profound insight about it. I’m just sad, and I have this little platform and as I stare at the blinking cursor, that’s what I wanted to say today. It’s sad how often this happens.

And now on to things that don’t matter in the grand scheme.

Around the blogO’sphere

Jose Mesa viewed as starter in camp (School of Roch)
Eight players, including two Rule 5 picks, are being viewed as starters by the Orioles right now. This does not mean they have eight starters.

Gausman embraces leadership role for Orioles (Orioles.com)
“I used to be the one asking everyone where I was going,” Gausman said. “Now, they’re asking me.”

Catcher Caleb Joseph embraces new unlikely leadership role (Baltimore Sun)
Lots to say about leadership today because there’s not a whole lot to say about anything else.

After September debut, does Austin Hays make the Orioles Opening Day roster? (Steve Melewski)
If the Orioles are only going to use him in a platoon against lefties, then he probably shouldn’t. Whether this is wise is another story.

Focused on his recovery this spring, Orioles’ Zach Britton can’t help but think about future (Baltimore Sun)
Thinking that the Orioles shouldn’t spend big money on a closer is reasonable and perhaps even correct. But it’s still not much fun to think about moving on from Zach Britton.

Can Alex Cobb get “The Thing” back? (Fangraphs)
If teams don’t think post-surgery Alex Cobb can be as good as pre-surgery Alex Cobb, no wonder he hasn’t signed yet.

Brewers to sign Wade Miley (MLBTR)
So long to one of Dan Duquette’s worst ideas.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 1997 reliever Brian Williams, 1991-93 reserve Luis Mercedes, and 1960-64 starter Chuck Estrada. Today is Estrada’s 80th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564), Declaration of Independence signer Abraham Clark (1725), utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748), suffragist Susan B. Anthony (1820), Clifford the Big Red Dog creator Norman Bridwell (1928), The Simpsons creator Matt Groening (1954), funny man Chris Farley (1964), and rapper Birdman (1969).

On this day in history...

In 1493, while sailing back from the New World on board the Nina, Christopher Columbus wrote a letter to the public, distributed wide upon his return, about what he had discovered there. The letter made claims including that what we now know as Cuba was larger than Great Britain.

In 1764, the city of St. Louis was founded in what was then Spanish Louisiana.

In 1898, the USS Maine suddenly exploded in Havana and sank, killing 274 sailors. Although this event was used as a pretext to begin the Spanish-American War, the Maine was never attacked and the explosion is now thought to have been caused by a coal fire spreading to the magazines.

In 1965, the maple leaf design was adopted as the flag of Canada.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 15 - or at least, unless something happens later. The Orioles have to get a starting pitcher eventually. Have a safe Thursday.