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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Where the O’s have announced their FanFest replacement

In other news: the team re-signed a few minor leaguers, the MASN payment is on hold and Elias is hiring a diverse staff.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles

Good morning, Birdland!

The club is suggesting that this is NOT a replacement for FanFest, but it’s the only offseason event they have announced since giving its predecessor the axe. They are calling in a “Winter Warm-Up.”

It will be at Camden Yards rather than the Convention Center. There are going to be giveaways, music, food trucks, store discounts and a “conversation” with people running the club. But there is no mention of players in attendance or any opportunities to get autographs, which was something that many fans had looked forward to.

Now, something more player-centric could be in the works for later in the offseason, or perhaps in the future once the team has more “face of the franchise” types on the roster. It would be neat if they could announce those things more than two weeks ahead of time.

Links & Notes

Orioles announce plans for “Winter Warm-Up” - School of Roch
Here is one of the things that will be done in place of FanFest. It sounds pretty fun as far as the atmosphere is concerned. The only thing of substance, however, seems to be some sort of presentation or Q & A with Mike Elias, Sig Mejdal and Brandon Hyde. It does not sound like any players will be in attendance.

Orioles Announce Multiple Minor-League Signings - MLB Trade Rumors
The stove went right past “hot” to “scalding!” In seriousness, the most familiar name on the list of re-signees is Mason Williams. It would not be without reason to expect Williams to make a push for the opening day roster.

MASN Payment To Nats Put On Hold Pending Orioles’ Appeal - CBS Baltimore
This whole saga may be coming down the home stretch, but not before the Orioles kick the can down the road once more.

Under Elias, Oriole hires are younger, more diverse and have varied backgrounds - Baltimore Baseball
The organization needed to change more than just the GM and manager when the Dan Duquette/Buck Showalter era came to an end. It’s unclear how this whole rebuild will shake out, but credit is owed to the Orioles ownership and Mike Elias on how they are going about the entire thing. They are getting up to speed with the rest of the league and hiring people with new perspectives

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Jason Berken, an Orioles pitcher from 2009 to 2012, turns 36 today. Berken appeared in 106 games over those four seasons, accumulating a 5.40 ERA, 1.661 WHIP, 81 ERA+ and 163 strikeouts in 230 innings.

Journeyman catcher Tim Laker celebrates his 50th birthday. Laker spent time with the Expos, Devil Rays, Pirates and Indians in his 11-season career, but only seven games with the Birds in 1997.

First baseman Randy Milligan is 58. The California native played four season in Baltimore from 1989 through 1992. He slashed .258/.388/.423 in 511 games as an Oriole.

Bill Short, a left-hander hurler for the O’s in 1962 and then again in 1966, is 82. The southpaw had a 4.10 ERA in 41.2 total innings for the Orioles. He would go on to play in parts of six big league seasons, but never really carved out a full-time role.

Finally, happy posthumous birthday to Johnny Schmitz (b. 1920, d. 2011). A pitcher during his playing days, Schmitz played 13 big league seasons that ranged from 1941 through 1956. He played the final 18 games of his career as an Oriole in 1956. He allowed 17 earned runs while striking out 15 in 38.1 innings donning the black and orange.

1963 - The Orioles complete a swap with the Kansas City Athletics. First baseman Jim Gentile and $25,000 go to KC in exchange for Norm Siebern, another first baseman.