There are now 39 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number was in use since 2014 by Kevin Gausman, although he has changed numbers for the 2018 season in honor of the late Roy Halladay.
Today marks the full squad report date. Everyone will be in camp, barring any visa issues for fringe players, of which there always seem to be a couple. Grapefruit League games begin five days from today, though it will still be some time before something resembling an Opening Day lineup is taking the field for more than a few innings at a time.
Maybe the Orioles will even make another addition before the first full squad workout tomorrow. Isn’t that a funny joke?
As of this writing, there are some eyebrows raised because the Rays designated Corey Dickerson for assignment. Dickerson is a high-strikeout, lefty-batting outfielder who hits dingers. In some ways, he’s already an Oriole in spirit. Perhaps Dan Duquette is waiting to pounce with Dickerson in DFA limbo, unless another team has already lined up to do it sooner.
Around the blogO’sphere
First full squad gathering won’t be a celebration of the 2017 Orioles (Baltimore Sun)
Headline provided by the Department of the Obvious.
Schoop vows to atone for missing FanFest (School of Roch)
Anybody who thinks Jonathan Schoop has anything to atone for is being extremely unfair to the man. But I hope he makes fans happy with his performance this year.
Ryan Mountcastle arrives at first big league camp early focusing on defensive fundamentals (Baltimore Sun)
The early days of spring training are certainly a good low-pressure time to be working on fundamentals. Hopefully they make a difference.
At this point, expectations are low for the 2018 Orioles (Steve Melewski)
I don’t think they’re going to get much higher by the time Opening Day rolls around, either.
Manny Machado talks future, move to short (Orioles.com)
Another Orioles writer summarized this as Machado “saying all the right things.” That could be so, but there’s no point in pretending it means he has any future in an Orioles uniform beyond nine months from now.
Birthdays and anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: the late Walter Young of the 2005 Orioles, 2009 catcher Chad Moeller, and 1990-91 reserve Jeff McKnight.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: “Bloody” Mary I of England (1516), battery inventor Alessandro Volta (1745), Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari (1898), singer-songwriter Yoko Ono (1933), movie man John Hughes (1950), Wheel of Fortune host Vanna White (1957), rapper Dr. Dre (1965), actress Molly Ringwald (1968), and singer-songwriter Regina Spektor (1980).
On this day in history...
In 1229, the Sixth Crusade came to an end in a victory for Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, regaining Jerusalem, Nazereth, and Bethlehem. Frederick had been excommunicated by the pope for not participating in the Fifth Crusade, and carried out this crusade without papal blessing. Other kings later followed up on this idea.
In 1478, Edward IV of England had his younger brother, George, Duke of Clarence, executed after a conviction of treason. A rumor at the time said that he was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine.
In 1885, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published.
In 1979, Richard Petty won what was at that time a record sixth Daytona 500. This was the first edition of the race to be televised from start to finish, and that television audience was rewarded with a last lap crash and a post-race fist fight by the two drivers involved in that dramatic crash, Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 18 - or at least, unless something happens later as all of the Orioles report to camp. Have a safe Sunday, and go Team USA!