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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles found their lefty, maybe

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The Orioles start spring training games tomorrow. Do they have any more additions to make? We’ll see! In today’s links, Tillman talks his return, Buck on the defense, and more.

Houston Astros v Texas Rangers Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 35 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. That's just five weeks away! We and the Orioles have some time left to get ready, but not that much. This uniform number has been in use by Brad Brach since the 2014 season. It was also used for a while by Gary Roenicke and Mike Cuellar at different times.

Just one day remains until the Orioles begin their Grapefruit League season with a home game against the Rays. This will be televised on MASN and on 105.7 in Baltimore, so for a couple of innings at least, it might feel something like a real baseball game, at least until all the reserves start to come into the game.

Are the Orioles done signing players now? That's worth wondering after they added Colby Rasmus on a minor league deal on Wednesday. Like everything else the Orioles have done offseason, there's not much exciting about it, but maybe things will work out somehow.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles to honor school shooting victims by wearing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hats (Baltimore Sun)
This is a nice gesture. You’ll be able to buy the autographed, game-used caps at auction with all proceeds benefiting the Broward Education foundation.

Chris Tillman glad to be back with Orioles (Orioles.com)
Tillman said Baltimore is “really where I wanted to be,” so I guess it’s good for him that the Orioles didn’t actually try to improve the starting rotation this offseason.

Showalter on Tillman's side session, outfield defense (School of Roch)
“He’s where he needs to be in the process now,” said Buck, who also insisted that Tillman is definitely way better than last year. Let’s hope he’s right.

The Orioles shouldn't tear down - an alternate view (Camden Depot)
There is a Cubs fan at the Depot who thinks it shouldn’t be panic time for the Orioles.

The O's-Tillman reunion, AL East rotations, prospects talk (Steve Melewski)
It sure looks like the Orioles are going to have the worst rotation in the division, by far.

Birthdays and anniversaries

In 2014, the Orioles officially signed Nelson Cruz to a one-year contract. This one worked out OK.

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2016 reliever Brian Duensing, 2014 late-season reserve Kelly Johnson, 2005 short-timer Ramon Nivar, 2006 pitcher John Halama, and the late Maryland-born Steve Barber of the 1960-67 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: President George Washington (1732), early presidential painter Rembrandt Peale (1778), Fireside Poet James Russell Lowell (1819), Hall of Fame baseball manager Sparky Anderson (1934), basketballer Julius "Dr. J." Erving (1950), actress Julie Walters (1950), Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin (1962), and actress Drew Barrymore (1975).

On this day in history...

In 1632, Galileo Galilei published his book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, in which he outlined the Copernican model (Earth orbits the sun) and why it is correct over the Ptolemaic model (everything orbits the Earth). The book was banned as heretical in all Catholic countries for about 200 years and Galileo himself was placed on house arrest for the rest of his life.

In 1797, Great Britain was invaded for the last time, with a French force attempting to land at Fishguard, Wales during the War of the First Coalition, with hopes of supporting an Irish rebellion. The invaders lasted three days before surrendering.

In 1847, an American force outnumbered nearly 3:1 defeated 15,000 Mexicans in the Battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican-American War. Future president Zachary Taylor commanded the force.

In 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill that admitted four new states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington.

In 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet of sixteen battleships returned to the United States after a 14-month journey around the world.

In 1980, the United States beat the Soviet Union in hockey during the Lake Placid Olympics: the Miracle on Ice. The USA went on to defeat Finland to win the gold medal.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on February 22 - or at least, until something happens later. Hey, Dan Duquette might not be done signing players who could be bad. Have a safe Thursday, and go Team USA!