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Saturday Bird Droppings: Where another catcher joins the mix

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The Orioles traded for catcher Andrew Susac on Friday and it’s one of their biggest moves in the last three months. Yeah, I know!

Milwaukee Brewers v Minnesota Twins
Andrew Susac reacts to being traded to the Orioles. (Not really.)
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 54 days to go until Orioles Opening Day. The Orioles, of course, played their inaugural season in 1954. Also, the number 54 was used in 2017 by Jimmy Yacabonis. Maybe he’ll use it again in 2018.

We’re also now down to just ten days until Orioles pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota to mark the start of spring training. Or at least, assuming that the rumblings about a possible spring training boycott that cropped up on Friday don’t grow into something more.

There’s not a whole lot of time for players to decide if they want to go down that road. Coincidentally, there’s also not a whole lot of time for Dan Duquette to make some additions to the starting rotation. I’m not going to be holding my breath about that, as you know.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles trade for former top prospect Susac, who will compete for backup catching job (Baltimore Baseball)
Andrew Susac rated in the back end of top 100 prospect lists prior to the 2015 season. It has not been an upward career trajectory since then.

In 2018, Hunter Harvey finds out how far his long road back takes him (Steve Melewski)
If Hunter Harvey turns into a useful big league starting pitcher, the Orioles of the near future may be in a little bit better shape than we all assumed.

Orioles camp roster contains many pitchers but is short on starting pitching experience (Baltimore Sun)
The response to this headline is the same as what might be uttered to a famous fictional detective when there is no excrement in the vicinity.

2018 Orioles: Historically bad or pretty good (Camden Depot)
The Depot sees hope for the Orioles, if they make the right signings and if they get some luck working out in their favor.

Darren O’Day: “Last year was encouraging in a lot of aspects” (School of Roch)
(looks at Darren O’Day’s 2017 season compared to his 2015 season) ... well, it’s nice that HE feels this way, I guess.

MLB payroll might decrease for the first time in a long time (Fangraphs)
There’s still time for this to change, but that’s how it looks for now. The Orioles are not the sole drivers of this. They are definitely part of the trend.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 1994-95 pitcher Scott Klingenbeck, 1982-83 pitcher Don Welchel, 1985-88 outfielder Fred Lynn, 1955 swingman Harry Byrd, and 1955-56 outfielder Jim Dyck.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: inaugural Postmaster General Samuel Osgood (1747), composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809), novelist Gertrude Stein (1874), painter Norman Rockwell (1894), and actress Isla Fisher (1976).

On this day in history...

In 1509, the Portuguese Navy scored a victory in the Battle of Diu, defeating a coalition including the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Venice, and the Mamluk Burji Sultanate. This gave Portugal a strong position in India and set up European control over seas in Asia until World War II.

In 1830, the London Protocol of 1830 settled the matter of Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire, ending the Greek War of Independence.

In 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed the right to vote to all male citizens, regardless of race, was ratified upon approval by Iowa. It took until 1973 for Maryland to symbolically ratify the amendment - we rejected it the first time around.

In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which authorized the federal income tax, was ratified upon approval by Delaware. Maryland was seventh to ratify, three years previously.

In 1959, the rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash, later put into a song lyric in American Pie - “the day the music died.”

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 3 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Saturday.