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Monday Bird Droppings: Where it’s the Orioles turn now

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The Ravens are out of the playoffs, so there’s nothing on the Baltimore professional sports calendar between now and Opening Day.

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 80 days remaining until the next Orioles game. After yesterday’s Ravens playoffs loss, there’s nothing on the Baltimore professional sports calendar between now and then. Spring training never sounded so good.

If you weren’t keeping tabs on baseball over the weekend, you didn’t miss much, but there was one thing. Former Orioles closer Zach Britton is headed back to the Yankees. It always stings when a favorite ex-Oriole goes to play there. It’s not like the O’s tried to sign him, nor should they have. No one can fault him for making that choice. I still don’t have to like it, mostly because I think he will make the Yankees better than they would have been without him.

As for the Orioles themselves, we know the drill by now. There’s nothing much to happen. They’re not going to try to sign anyone who matters this offseason. They’ll announce a coaching staff eventually. And hopefully by the time the season rolls around, the new front office and coaches are able to use better information to make a sad roster on paper a bit less sad.

Around the blogO’sphere

Elias influence already heavy in Orioles organization (School of Roch)
When an Orioles beat writer remarks that he’s surprised that none of Buck Showalter’s former coaches have found major league coaching jobs for 2019, I can only roll my eyes.

Hires coming slowly, but Mike Elias says Orioles front office has ‘full capabilities to operate’ (Baltimore Sun)
Because I’m a nerd, my reaction to his headline is hearing Emperor Palpatine’s cackle: “Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!”

Austin Brice claimed by Orioles (Orioles.com)
Scrub reliever waiver claims are always in style, no matter who is the GM of the organization.

Does a rebuild provide a chance for creativity for the Orioles? (Steve Melewski)
The obvious and only answer is yes. Among the ideas Melewski ponders here are use of an opener, use of defensive replacements for multiple innings, and non-traditional closer usage. Try everything!

Mychal Givens ‘blitzes’ old West Tampa stomping grounds (Tampa Bay Times)
Former Orioles beat writer Eduardo Encina paid a visit to Mychal Givens in Encina’s new gig, as Givens himself was paying a visit to his old high school, where there were some kids playing “Blitzball” - and not the minigame from Final Fantasy X. If somebody pulled off the Jecht Shot, I’d be impressed.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2011 outfielder Kyle Hudson, 2013 late-season reliever Francisco Rodriguez, and 1974-77/82 pitcher Ross Grimsley, who still appears on the radio before O’s games.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: calendar namesake Pope Gregory XIII (1502), 13th president Millard Fillmore (1800), novelist Zora Neale Hurston (1891), television’s Katie Couric (1957), actor Nicolas Cage (1964), and musician Aloe Blacc (1979).

On this day in history...

In 1558, the French finally captured Calais back from the English, bringing an end to England’s possessions on the main European continent.

In 1610, astronomer Galieo Galilei first observed the four largest moons of Jupiter, which as a group are named after him to this day. They are: Ganymede, Callisto, Io, and Europa.

In 1785, Calais was once again a central part of history as two men flew in a gas balloon from Dover in England across the Channel to Calais.

In 1904, the radio distress signal “CQD” was established. Within two years, this was replaced by the still-used “SOS.”

In 1979, Vietnamese troops who had invaded Cambodia less than two weeks prior captured the capital, Phnom Penh, driving Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge from power.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 7 - or at least, unless something happens later, which you never know, it might. Have a safe Monday.