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Thursday Bird Droppings: The less than a week ‘til Christmas edition

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Christmas is six days away. The Orioles will not be leaving any presents under anyone’s trees.

Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 98 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2020. We have crossed down into double digits for days to go this week, not that this really means very much. It’s still a lot of days and not many of those days will be ones with Orioles-related news.

Not many will offer any hope for the 2020 season, either, though there’s always the chance that when spring training starts, some prospects will offer reason to be excited about them before they get sent over to minor league camp.

After last year, we should all go into spring training well aware that no one’s hot spring results, if anyone has them, will propel them onto the roster. Mike Elias and company are probably going to make them carry over their performance into Triple-A Norfolk before calling up whoever is good. I have no reason to believe that this is a bad idea. But it won’t make anyone more excited for Opening Day.

With no Orioles news, let’s talk about the Hall of Fame voting. The team of the BBHOF Tracker have kept their standard watch on public ballots thus far. Through 38 ballots out of an expected 412, there are five players above the 75% threshold: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Derek Jeter, Curt Schilling, and Larry Walker. As of yet, all ballots have included Jeter, so we’re probably in for another fun cycle of hearing about unanimous Yankees.

Bonds and Clemens are each at 76.3%. They are typically punished by voters who are not willing to publicize their ballots, presumably due to PED-related moralizing.

Although I had no strong feelings about him in his playing career and still don’t now that he’s been retired for 15 years, I hope Walker makes it into the Hall in his tenth and final year on the writers ballot. He’s at 84.2% up to now. Walker is another one who has generally been left off of the ballots that lack accountability. Perhaps that will change for him before he has to wait around for one of the committees.

Around the blogO’sphere

These are the O’s top 10 defensive plays of the decade (Orioles.com)
On one hand, I’m glad that the Adam Jones World Baseball Classic catch is something that the Orioles get to claim. On the other hand, it is kind of sad that something that didn’t even happen in an Orioles game is #1 for the decade.

Other mainstream Orioles media had questions on the brain.

Answering some popular Orioles questions (School of Roch)
Pondering a few questions about Ryan Mountcastle (Steve Melewski)
Answers to your Orioles questions (Baltimore Baseball)
If you work in an office that has effectively ceased any meaningful work being done for the remainder of the 2019 calendar year, it’s clear your office isn’t the only one in that category.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1976, a small plane crashed into the upper deck of Memorial Stadium shortly after the Baltimore Colts lost a playoff game to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The pilot and three others were injured, but there were no fatalities.

In 1991, the Orioles signed pitcher Rick Sutcliffe as a free agent. His Orioles tenure lasted two seasons with a 5.00 ERA, but he’ll always be the guy who pitched a complete game shutout for the first-ever game in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

A few former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 1998-99 swingman Doug Johns, 1991-93 reserve outfielder Chito Martinez, and 1999 reliever Mike Fetters.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: former MLB commissioner Ford Frick (1894), Baltimore-born Baseball Hall of Famer Al Kaline (1934), actress Alyssa Milano (1972), video game composer Jeremy Soule (1975), actor Jake Gyllenhaal (1980), and journalist Ronan Farrow (1987).

On this day in history...

In 1606, three ships set sail from England with the goal of founding a colony in North America. When the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Odyssey arrived at their destination, they called it Jamestown, after the king. Something like 80% of them died within three years.

In 1776, Thomas Paine published one of his Common Sense pamphlets, entitled “The American Crisis,” which begins with a now-famous sentence: “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

In 1972, Apollo 17, the last manned lunar mission to date, returned safely to Earth.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 19 - or at least, unless something happens later to change it. Have a safe Thursday.