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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the young guys are making their mark

Young players are getting chances this spring and they’re showing off well, so far. Today’s Orioles stuff: Hays gets some rest, Jim Palmer finds some relatives, and the balls are definitely juiced.

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Baltimore Orioles Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 27 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number was used in 2016 and 2017 by Francisco Pena, and was also used in Orioles history by quite a few players, including Delmon Young, Dave Johnson, and Benny Ayala.

Spring training rolls on today, with the Orioles facing the Pirates in Sarasota. Despite this game taking place in the O's spring home, it will not be televised nor will it be on the radio, so whatever happens will almost be like a secret.

The Orioles were winners in yesterday's game, which, like today's, did not count. They beat the Rays, 5-2, and nice words were said about Rule 5 pick Nestor Cortes Jr. afterwards. If the Orioles are determined to have a lefty in the rotation, he might be the guy, since the injury to Chris Lee took out what may have been the closest competition for a lefty starter role, and that was a longshot as is.

Around the blogO'sphere

Hays shut down from baseball activities for three days (School of Roch)
In this space yesterday, there was a note about Austin Hays being A-OK and needing just a couple of days rest. Now it turns out that he got a cortisone injection.

Orioles Rule 5 pick Cortes continues confident spring with two strong innings (Baltimore Sun)
Early spring training games don’t have much to write about for pitchers except for two innings, and the Orioles beat writers are collectively dutifully recording those innings.

Hays and Mullins head up improved outfield depth on the farm (Steve Melewski)
I object to this headline for not including OBP homeboy DJ Stewart.

Four intriguing storylines of Orioles camp (
My sarcastic response was, “There are four intriguing storylines?” You can judge that for yourself. One is that Trey Mancini is looking like a guy who’s not about to have a sophomore slump. Hopefully this analysis is right.

Orioles great Jim Palmer, adopted at birth 72 years ago, discovers his heritage (Baltimore Sun)
There’s nothing about this that isn’t great.

We X-Rayed some MLB baseballs. Here's what we found. (FiveThirtyEight)
MLB keeps saying that the baseballs aren’t juiced and people keep using science to prove that MLB is lying.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are several former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2013-15 starter Bud Norris, 2001-07 guy I'll be nice to on his birthday Jay Gibbons, 1990-95 infielder Leo Gomez, 1958-59 outfielder Joe Taylor, and 1954-55 outfielder Cal Abrams.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Oxford library founder Thomas Bodley (1545), children's author Dr. Seuss (1904), Baseball Hall of Famer Mel Ott (1909), actor Desi Arnaz (1917), singer-songwriter Jon Bon Jovi (1962), rapper Method Man (1971), and actress Rebel Wilson (1980).

On this day in history...

In 1717, a ballet called The Loves of Mars and Venus was performed in England - noteworthy because this was the first-ever ballet performed in that country.

In 1807, Congress passed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, which, unlike some modern legislation, actually did what its title suggests. A ban on the international slave trade took effect on January 1, 1808, the earliest day allowed by Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution.

In 1949, a USAF B-50 Superfortress named Lucky Lady II, with a crew of 14, landed at an airfield in Texas after finishing the world's first ever nonstop circumnavigation by air. The flight took 94 hours and one minute, two minutes faster than expected.

In 1962, Wilt Chamberlain set the NBA's single-game scoring record by dropping 100 points against the New York Knicks.

In 1965, during the Vietnam War, the US launched Operation Rolling Thunder, a sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam that would last for more than three and a half years. At least 30,000 civilians were killed during this bombing, which did not achieve its objective of weakening resolve in North Vietnam.


And that's the way it is in Birdland on March 2 - or at least, until something happens later, which it will, even if it won't be on TV or on the radio. Have a safe Friday.