There are now 55 days to go until Orioles Opening Day. This number was used most recently by Dan Johnson in 2013, and most memorably by Ramon Hernandez from 2006-08. So go ahead and bat flip a home run that lands in the front row of seats today.
We're also now down to just 11 days until pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota to begin Orioles spring training. We are really running out of time for some starting pitcher to get signed and into camp at the start of workouts. This does not appear to be a concern for Dan Duquette and company, as it has not been a concern for them for the past several seasons. Maybe it should be. Maybe it doesn't matter.
Never mind that the Orioles only have about $127 million committed for the upcoming season right now, leaving them with, presumably based on prior spending, at least $35 million that should be available to spend on free agents. They are not in a rush. They are waiting to cut down a few million dollars per year on some free agent they want, perhaps. Or they don't want any of these free agents at all - a defensible if disappointing stance - and they're just thumbing their noses.
It won't all get settled today or tomorrow, and it might not even get settled by the time this month ends. If the Orioles are waiting for the bargains and nobody else is signing to move things into the bargain phase, well, then it's going to be longer than usual before the Orioles try something. This all remains unexciting.
Around the blogO'sphere
Gausman and Bundy on being the only confirmed starters (School of Roch)
At FanFest, Gausman joked that he had 50 people in the last day ask if he could pitch every two days. Sign a freaking starter, Duquette! Sign two or three.
How does a Gausman/Bundy 1-2 punch stack up? (Camden Depot)
Over at the Depot, Matt Kremnitzer would like to remind the Orioles that a starting rotation with Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy at the top is not as exciting as it seemed in 2013.
Orioles invite 19 non-roster players to camp (Orioles.com)
It would take a lot of convincing for me to believe that Perci Garner and Tim Melville are real people.
In backup catcher race, how will Orioles distinguish between Chance Sisco and Austin Wynns? (Baltimore Sun)
I find this headline confusing, because Chance Sisco shouldn’t be in the backup catcher race at all, but I don’t expect to be consulted when any decision is made.
Dylan Bundy on 2017 season, moving to the top of the rotation, and more (Steve Melewski)
Bundy held off on throwing an extra two weeks this offseason.
Eddie Murray among all-time great MLB players (MLB.com)
For Black History Month, MLB is profiling some of the game’s great black players, including Orioles great and baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray.
Keith Law's complete guide to AL East prospects (ESPN)
Law has ranked the top ten prospects in each system, as he does early each year. He’s high on a couple of names you won’t see on every other prospect list - Brenan Hanifee and Cameron Bishop.
Birthdays and anniversaries
In 2005, the Orioles finalized the trade that brought Sammy Sosa to Baltimore in exchange for Jerry Hairston Jr. and two minor leaguers. It still annoys me that Hairston won a World Series ring and Brian Roberts never got to play in a postseason game.
There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2015 outfielder Travis Snider, 2000-09 eventual-third baseman Melvin Mora, gruff 1995-2002 starter Scott Erickson, 1991 reliever Paul Kilgus, and 1968-72 outfielder Don Buford. It's Buford's 81st birthday today.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: novelist James Joyce (1882), Howard Johnson's founder Howard Deering Johnson (1897), author Khushwant Singh (1915), baseball Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst (1923), actress Farrah Fawcett (1947), and singer-songwriter Shakira (1977).
On this day in history...
In 1461, Edward, Duke of York's forces defeated a Lancastrian army at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross during the Wars of the Roses. This tilted the conflict towards York, at least until Edward's brother Richard ended up on the throne.
In 1653, New Amsterdam - today the city of New York - was incorporated.
In 1922, the novel Ulysses by birthday boy Joyce was first published.
In 1925, dog sleds carrying the diptheria serum reached Nome, Alaska, inspiring the Iditarod sled race that continues annually to the present day.
In 1980, the first reports surfaced that the FBI was investigating corrupt Congressmen in the Abscam sting operation. Six members of the House and one Senator were among the 30+ politicians eventually convicted.
And that's the way it is in Birdland on February 2 - or at least, unless something happens later. Maybe Duquette will see his shadow, meaning six more weeks of not signing anyone for the starting rotation. Have a safe Friday.