There are now 48 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number was used last season by Richard Bleier, who sure figures to be a lock to return to claim it again in the upcoming season - though of course, with more seniority, perhaps he could change his number.
We are also down to just four days until pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota to mark the beginning of spring training. If you tune out baseball for the coming weekend (it's not like anything will happen) then when you tune back in there's going to be the imminent arrival of baseball... or at least however much the early days of spring training count as baseball.
The offseason is very nearly over and it still has barely even begun. The Orioles aren't alone in having done nothing, as has been harped on a lot, but it's still just remarkable that so many guys are unsigned. Will the last weekend before spring training start shaking out the panic player signings? Teams, including the Orioles, are surely hoping this is the time where asking prices start coming down.
One bit of baseball news that will affect the Orioles indirectly down the road is that there have been reports that the Rays have finally settled on a post-Tropicana Field destination. It's all rather vague for now, but perhaps some day we will not have to watch any baseball games in that sterile, carpeted mausoleum with the catwalks that affect balls in play. I'm sure Buck Showalter is happy to hear it, though his managerial career may not see him through to when this hypothetical new stadium can be built.
Around the blogO'sphere
Taking the Orioles rotation for another spin (School of Roch)
Not for the first time, Roch notes that the Orioles could still end up bringing back Chris Tillman.
Newly re-signed Gentry adds outfield flexibility but also complications for Orioles (Baltimore Sun)
There is nothing at all complicated about putting Craig Gentry in the Orioles outfield!
Looking into the current status of the Orioles' 10 free agents from season's end (Baltimore Baseball)
Nobody wants our guys... except for Welington Castillo.
If every team was homegrown: AL East (Baseball America)
If your day is starting out well, don’t read this link. If you’re having a bad day you hope to eventually improve, don’t read this link.
2018 Top 100 KATOH prospects (Fangraphs)
I’ve yet to get a handle on why anybody takes the KATOH projection system seriously, but hey, they have five Orioles in the top 100, so isn’t that exciting?
Birthdays and anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2005 short-timer Napoleon Calzado, newly-elected baseball Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, 1999 pitcher Doug Linton, 1955-56 pitcher Erv Palica, and 1954 outfielder Vic Wertz.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: pamphlet-writing Founding Father Thomas Paine (1737), 9th President William Henry Harrison (1773), novelist J.M. Coetzee (1940), novelist Alice Walker (1944), The Wire creator David Simon (1960), actor Tom Hiddleston (1981), and actor Michael B. Jordan (1987).
On this day in history...
In 1825, following no candidate receiving a majority of votes in the Electoral College the previous year, the US House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams as President.
In 1943, with the last Japanese forces on the island having evacuated two days previously, the Allied forces declared Guadalcanal secured, thus ending a six month campaign with an Allied victory and ending Japan's large-scale offensive operations for the rest of the war.
In 1964, the Beatles famously made their US debut with an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. 73 million people tuned in for the broadcast - about 38% of the US population at the time.
In 1986, Halley's Comet made its most recent visit to the inner solar system. It is due back for another perihelion on July 28, 2061. I hope I'm not still waiting for an Orioles World Series by then.
And that's the way it is in Birdland on February 9 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Friday, and if you're into that sort of thing, enjoy the Olympics opening ceremonies.