There are now 33 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This is surely an auspicious number in Birdland since it is, after all, the retired number of Hall of Famer Eddie Murray. It’s doubly auspicious because today is Murray’s birthday. Really! He turns 62 years old today.
The Orioles lost their first game of the year yesterday, which is okay since it doesn’t count. It’s also okay because in garbage time, hopeful future Orioles put together a three run rally, with Chance Sisco hitting a home run that drove in both DJ Stewart and Ryan Mountcastle. We probably won’t see those guys in the same regular season game this year, but hopefully it could be in play for next year.
There are two fake Orioles games on tap for today, with one split squad staying at home and one going on the road. The road Orioles will play the Phillies at 1:05, while the home Orioles play the Twins at 6:05. The Phillies contest will be on both Phillies TV and radio, if you are able to access that. The home game against the Twins will be on 105.7 in Baltimore.
Do you think the Orioles are done adding players? In a TV booth appearance during Friday’s spring training game, Dan Duquette didn’t close the door towards adding more depth, but he didn’t sound like he was waiting to pounce on one of the unsigned pitchers - though he did predict a lot of players would be signing over the next week.
Around the blogO’sphere
Schoop sidelined with elbow bursitis, Castro with knee tendinitis (School of Roch)
There’s not much chance the Orioles could replace Jonathan Schoop, so here’s hoping this problem doesn’t set him back in getting ready for the season.
Orioles’ Mike Wright Jr. working to make team (Orioles.com)
Mike Wright deployed a cutter in his outing on Friday, which doesn’t seem to have helped him avoid going from a 1-2 count against the first batter he faced to issuing a 12-pitch walk. That really happened.
Late rally by young Orioles falls short, but still impresses the boss (Baltimore Sun)
Several Orioles prospects contributed to a ninth inning rally against a bad Rays High-A reliever in the first spring training game. When there’s nothing else to write about and you’ve got column inches to fill, might as well.
Where is Dan Duquette? Or is this Brady, Year One? (Camden Depot)
At the Depot, Jon Shepherd ponders whether Brady Anderson is already taking over as the GM behind the scenes. The circumstantial evidence is worth considering.
30-year-old Vaughn blends youth, experience as Maryland’s new skipper (Baltimore Baseball)
There’s a new baseball coach at Maryland this year.
Where defensive opportunities have declined the most (Fangraphs)
The shortstop has more plays to make than the third baseman, but the wide gap that existed between the two a decade ago has shrunk significantly, as Travis Sawchik outlines here.
Birthdays and anniversaries
One current Oriole - though he may start the year in the minors - has a birthday today. Happy 23rd to the aforementioned Chance Sisco. Along with Murray, the other former Orioles with birthdays today are: 2015 first baseman Chris Parmelee, and 2007 short-timer Gustavo Molina.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: British Revolutionary War loser general John Burgoyne (1722), Baseball Hall of Famer Honus Wagner (1874), World War II fleet admiral Chester W. Nimitz (1885), Nike co-founder Phil Knight (1938), singer-songwriter George Thorogood (1950), Civilization creator Sid Meier (1954), Apple and Pixar co-founder Steve Jobs (1955), and comedian Mitch Hedberg (1968).
On this day in history...
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued a bull, Inter gravissimas, which established the Gregorian calendar, still in use today.
In 1803, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Marbury v. Madison, setting the precedent for judicial review.
In 1868, President Andrew Johnson became the first president to be impeached by the House of Representatives, although he was acquitted in the Senate.
In 1917, the American ambassador to the United Kingdom, Walter Hines Page, was given the Zimmermann Telegram, a communication from Germany to Mexico which suggested that, if the USA joined the war and Mexico attacked the USA, Mexico would be given Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico back. British intelligence intercepted and decoded the telegram before presenting it to Page.
In 1968, during the Vietnam War, the Americans and South Vietnamese halted the Tet Offensive. The offensive ended in a tactical victory for the American military; however, the American public having been lied to that the North Vietnamese were nearly beaten, opinion began to turn against the war.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 24 - or at least, until something happens later in one of the two Orioles games of the day. Have a safe Saturday, and go Team USA!