There are now 101 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2020. For those who find the approximation of baseball-like activities in spring training to be a worthwhile thing to look forward to, we’ve got less than two months until pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota to start spring training. So that’s something.
With the Jonathan Villar and Dylan Bundy trades made, the winter meetings over, and the Rule 5 draft done with, the reality sets in that there will probably not be much in the way of Orioles news to pass the days between now and then. Maybe there will be some scrap heap signings or waiver claims, but these guys are probably going to be the guys.
The rest of baseball is continuing to make things happen for their 2020 rosters. Just on Sunday, the Indians worked out a deal to send Corey Kluber to the Rangers, and the Diamondbacks signed free agent pitcher Madison Bumgarner. Real moves have been happening and will continue to happen while Orioles fans are left wondering whether Rule 5 picks Brandon Bailey and Michael Rucker will be worth a roster spot for the whole season.
It’s not like it’s news that things will be like this. The feeling that the Orioles were probably going to have to have a multi-year bottoming out period has been there to grapple with since the late 2017 season collapse. When Mike Elias, who was heavily involved in these same growing pains in Houston, became the GM, it was more clear how it would be. Still, the idea of not knowing when there will be much to look forward to about the MLB team sucks.
Around the blogO’sphere
Orioles first Winter Warmup event gives Mike Elias, Brandon Hyde chance to preach patience to fans (Baltimore Sun)
It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last that the Orioles leadership has to preach patience. Hopefully a year from now, the time for preaching patience will be winding down. If you went to this event, I hope you had fun.
A look at how one O’s minor league pitcher used technology to improve (Steve Melewski)
One of those articles that reminds you that a whole lot of people from the previous regime should have lost their jobs a lot sooner than they did.
Elias: Joseph on Orioles radar (Orioles.com)
Perhaps because Adam Jones had already signed with a Japanese team, the Winter Warmup event had Elias field a fan question about a reunion with Caleb Joseph. Honestly, you could ask the guy anything in the world and that’s your question? It probably wasn’t the worst question asked, to be fair.
Minors notes on Stowers, Clark, and Minor (School of Roch)
Outfield prospect Zach Stowers dropped in to the winter meetings and chatted up Orioles reporters with some insightful remarks about the importance of baseball players experiencing the occasional failure.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 2003, the Orioles officially signed Miguel Tejada to a six year, $72 million free agent contract. “It’s definitely safe for me to buy his jersey,” I thought. “Six years is a long time!” It hangs in my closet still, though it has not been worn for more than a decade.
In signings that weren’t exciting even at the time, in 2009, the Orioles signed Mike Gonzalez and Garrett Atkins to free agent deals, simultaneously failing both parts of the “grow the arms, buy the bats” philosophy that Andy MacPhail liked to espouse.
There are three former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2006 reliever Chris Britton, and 1987-92/96 infielder Billy Ripken. Today also would have been the 68th birthday of 1975-87/91-92 pitcher, former general manager, and MASN analyst Mike Flanagan.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770), novelist Jane Austen (1775), aseptic surgery pioneer Ernst von Bergmann (1836), anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901), author Arthur C. Clarke (1917), author Philip K. Dick (1928), comedian Bill Hicks (1961), and actress Krysten Ritter (1981).
On this day in history...
In 755, Chinese warlord An Lushan rebelled against Tang dynasty rule. Modern historians believe that as much as 5% of the world’s population at the time perished as a result of this seven-year rebellion.
In 1653, Oliver Cromwell was proclaimed the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, a title he held until his death five years later.
In 1773, some disgruntled colonists in British North America dumped tea into the harbor in Boston.
In 1864, the Union army led by Major General George Thomas defeated the Confederate Army of Tennessee in the Battle of Nashville. The decisive Union victory in this battle effectively destroyed Confederate fighting strength outside of the coastal states.
In 1944, three German armies launched an unexpected attack through the Ardennes Forest, marking the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 16 - or at least, unless something changes later. Have a safe Monday.