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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where Orioles Opening Day is finally here

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Orioles baseball is back, baby! Let’s hope today is the start of a good season. Today’s stuff: Clean bills of health, the Davis leadoff experiment may be real, and more.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

We are finally here. It’s Opening Day! No more counting down the days. There are 162 games to be played, starting today, and if we as Orioles fans are really lucky, there will be some more beyond that. It probably won’t happen that way, but for today, every team starts out 0-0 and anything can happen from here. Maybe what happens will mostly be good. That would be nice.

On Opening Day for the past three even years, going back to 2012, could many beyond the most orange-blinkered fools have seen things going as well as they did for those Orioles teams?

Those teams all had their problems and their question marks and their formidable competition and enough things still managed to come together for them in the regular season. The Opening Day rosters were quite pointedly not playoff-caliber rosters, particularly in 2012, but they kept tweaking and plugging in other players where they could and eventually it worked out.

Maybe 2018, the last hurrah for the current incarnation of the Orioles, will prove to be another such year, and before so many ride off into the sunset, there will be some happy memories. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

Around the blogO’sphere

Workout day notes on Beckham, Mancini, Davis, lineup, and more (School of Roch)
It’s good news for Tim Beckham and Trey Mancini’s minor injury problems. Thank goodness for that!

Orioles fans feeling brighter about Opening Day after Alex Cobb signing (Baltimore Sun)
...some of us, anyway.

Manny Machado: “I live in the moment, I don’t look ahead” (Steve Melewski)
Manny is totally gone after this season, you guys. So let’s hope we can enjoy it while it lasts.

Myriad O’s Thoughts: The Chris Davis leadoff experiment, roster juggling, more (Baltimore Baseball)
Come on, the Orioles aren’t REALLY going to do this Chris Davis leadoff nonsense, are they?

Players’ View: Learning and developing a new pitch (Fangraphs)
Former Oriole T.J. McFarland makes an appearance here - don’t worry, though, this isn’t yet another story of how an ex-Oriole develops a pitch elsewhere.

Hays says return to Bowie a ‘bit of a letdown’, but realizes there’s still work to do (Baltimore Sun)
So the Orioles told both Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays to walk more. Wait, the organization recognizes that it’s good to have players who walk?

Birthdays and anniversaries

One lone former Oriole has a birthday today: 1989-91 (but mostly 1991) infielder Juan Bell.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! I hope the Orioles give you a nice birthday present today. Your birthday buddies include: 10th president John Tyler (1790), baseball Hall of Famer Cy Young (1867), author/philosopher Ernst Junger (1895), basketball player/talker Walt “Clyde” Frazier (1945), actress Amy Sedaris (1961), and former tennis star Jennifer Capriati (1976).

On this day in history...

In 845, the city of Paris was sacked by Viking raiders, who did not leave until they had extracted a ransom from the city.

In 1461, Edward of York’s forces defeated the Lancaster army led by Queen Margaret in the Battle of Towton, after which Margaret’s husband, Henry VI, was deposed and Edward became King Edward IV.

In 1867, Queen Victoria gave her assent to the British North America Act, which provided for the establishment of the Dominion of Canada on July 1.

In 1961, the Twenty-third amendment to the Constitution was ratified upon approval by Ohio, granting Washington, DC electoral votes for the first time. Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the amendment, two months prior.

In 1971, Army Lieutenant William Calley was convicted of premeditated murder for his role in the My Lai massacre in the Vietnam War and sentenced to life in prison. However, President Nixon the next day ordered Calley to serve house arrest pending appeal, and 3.5 years later, any prison obligations were commuted to time served, so Calley only served one day of prison.

Exactly two years later, the last US combat soldiers left South Vietnam, and additionally, the US ended Operation Barrel Roll, its covert bombing campaign of Laos, which had been ongoing since 1964.

In 1984, the Mayflower vans were loaded up and the Colts departed from Baltimore in the middle of the night during a snowstorm.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on Opening Day - or at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Thursday, and go Orioles!