There are now 40 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number was used most recently by Ashur Tolliver in 2016, and used for the longest by Troy Patton from 2010-14. That’s still a lot of days, but it’s also not very many days at all.
Pitchers and catchers are doing their fielding practice and throwing bullpen sessions. Some position players have reported, though they’re not required to until tomorrow, with the first full squad workout coming on Monday. Real baseball will be here before we know it.
It remains to be seen whether the Orioles will do any more adding to their team before Opening Day comes along. The signings are starting to happen, especially at the bottom of the market. Friday saw lefty Jason Vargas sign with the Mets for a similar contract to the one the O’s gave to Andrew Cashner. If they’re going to sign a lefty pitcher, it won’t be him.
Around the blogO’sphere
Chris Tillman expected to choose team within next few days, could return to Orioles (Baltimore Sun)
If the Orioles sign two pitchers and those two pitchers are Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, one reaction might be to wonder why they bothered.
Duquette talks about the Cashner signing (School of Roch)
“He’s been steady and dependable in terms of the innings he’s pitched,” said Duquette. Whether Duquette himself believes this is not something I can say, but what I can say is that it is not true.
Orioles seeking left-handed batter, pitcher (Orioles.com)
Let the unexciting, inexpensive signings continue to roll in throughout February!
Cashner discusses signing with O’s; Buck on improving rotation (Baltimore Baseball)
Cashner sounds like he knows what he’s talking about, which is nice, but then, so did Ubaldo Jimenez, Yovani Gallardo, and Wade Miley.
Orioles All-Star Brian Roberts joins Orioles Radio Network (Fox Baltimore)
Don’t get too excited, because he will only be calling “select games” rather than regularly joining in. But hopefully it leaves open the possibility of a bigger role in the future.
Orioles announce minor league staff for 2018 season (Steve Melewski)
This includes the previously-announced hire of Buck Britton, older brother of Zach, to be the manager of the Delmarva Shorebirds.
Jason Vargas is the hope (Fangraphs)
Part 1 of “Fangraphs likes the guys the Orioles didn’t sign way better than the one they did” for today.
Blue Jays continue sneaky-good offseason with Jaime Garcia (Fangraphs)
...and Part 2 of the same. Let’s hope they’re wrong!
Birthdays and anniversaries
On this day in 2003, Orioles prospect Steve Bechler passed away after experiencing multi-organ failure linked to the dietary supplement ephedrine.
In 2014, the Orioles officially signed Ubaldo Jimenez to a four year, $50 million contract that is fortunately finally over.
There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2007 reliever Scott Williamson, 1987 reserve Mike Hart, 1985-87 infielder Alan Wiggins, and 1964 outfielder Willie Kirkland. If you remember any of these Orioles, give yourself a cookie as you wish them happy birthday.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Zhou dynasty empress Wu Zetian (624), French defense advocate Andre Maginot (1877), actor Hal Holbrook (1925), football player Jim Brown (1936), actress Rene Russo (1954), former minor league baseball player Michael Jordan (1963), explosive movie master Michael Bay (1965), Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong (1972), and crooner Ed Sheeran (1991).
On this day in history...
In 1600, Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Rome for the crime of heresy. He advanced upon Copernican theory, but ran afoul of the Church for allegedly denying certain aspects of Catholic dogma.
In 1801, what had been an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr was resolved by the House of Representatives, with Jefferson becoming the president and Burr his vice president.
In 1871, a victorious Prussian army paraded through Paris after having won the Franco-Prussian War. This Prussian victory led to the proclamation of the German Empire.
In 1904, Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly received its premiere performance in Milan. Nearer to the end of the 20th century, the story inspired the Broadway musical Miss Saigon.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 17 - or at least, unless something happens later. Hey, you never know. The Orioles still need that lefty outfielder (they say) and a pitcher! Have a safe Saturday, and go Team USA!