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Thursday Bird Droppings: The holiday hangover edition

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Christmas has come and gone and now we can think about Orioles Opening Day, which is 91 days from now.

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

Hello, friends.

There are now 91 days until Orioles Opening Day 2020. This time next week, I won’t have to say the 2020 part any more because we’ll just be in 2020. Isn’t that exciting? Well, maybe a bit less exciting when I really stop and think about what 2020 probably will hold for the Orioles at the MLB level.

We all know the Astros plan that we fervently hope the O’s are able to emulate. Houston lost 100+ games three straight seasons from 2011-13, with the front office change after the first of those seasons. They made it into the wild card game in 2015 and won the World Series in 2017.

The Orioles lost 115 games in 2018. They had a change in the front office prior to 2019 and lost 108 games in the first year of Mike Elias being in charge. The 2020 season is lined up to be the third straight 100+ loss year for the Orioles. As for all the rest, well, we’ll see if the prospects Duquette left behind plus the first batch of ones Elias acquired can keep the pattern going for a good season in 2022.

If you celebrated Christmas, I hope you had a good one. If you’re still celebrating Hanukkah, Happy Hanukkah! And for everyone, whether you were or are celebrating anything this week, a pleasant Thursday to you.

Around the blogO’sphere

If you were focused on getting everything ready for your chosen holiday celebration, you might have missed some of these over the last few days.

Orioles announce 2020 coaching staff (Baltimore Baseball)
Typically, I’d say that we would get to hear from the new coaches at FanFest, except there won’t be one next month, so I guess we’ll hear from them in spring training.

Hess hopes copying Means’ offseason leads to similar results (School of Roch)
Certainly can’t help for a struggling pitcher to try to emulate a non-prospect who turned himself into an All-Star.

As 2019’s worst teams make improvements, Orioles bounding towards a rough 2020 (Baltimore Sun)
Even the Detroit Tigers, who edged the Orioles for the #1 pick in the 2020 draft, are signing free agents! One of those free agents is former Oriole Jonathan Schoop. Maybe he’ll help the O’s get the #1 pick in the 2020 draft by making the Tigers better.

In September burst, Austin Hays showed a strong skill set (Steve Melewski)
The sooner that the Orioles collection of prospects and young MLB players in the outfield turns into a solid trio or quartet, the sooner it will be to start imagining a better Orioles team. Hopefully Hays can do his part in 2020.

Machado, Jones headline top Orioles of 2010s (Orioles.com)
One thing we can give to the 2010s for the Orioles is that at least half of them were good, which is better can be said of the decade before this one.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1995, the Orioles picked up David Wells from the Reds. He threw 224.1 innings in his lone season as an Oriole, which is good, though he had a 5.14 ERA, which isn’t. Actually, in 1996, that led to an ERA+ of 97, so he was just about league average. It wasn’t the baseballs that were juiced in the mid-late 1990s.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on the day after Christmas. They are: 1982-86 pitcher Storm Davis, 1984-89 reserve Jim Traber, 1955-57 infielder Wayne Causey, and 1963-67 reliever Stu Miller.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: mathematician Charles Babbage (1791), baseball Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk (1947), bad-hitting baseball benchmark Mario Mendoza (1950), baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (1954), Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich (1963), and actor Kit Harington (1986).

On this day in history...

In 1776, after the previous night’s surprise crossing of the Delaware River, George Washington led the Continental Army to victory in the Battle of Trenton.

In 1898, Marie and Pierre Curie announced that they had isolated the element radium from a uranium-heavy ore.

In 1919, the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth’s contract to the Yankees.

In 1943, during World War II, the US Third Army, led by Patton, broke the siege of Bastogne, where paratroopers had been surrounded for nearly a week.

In 1963, Beatlemania arrived in the United States with the release here of two Beatles singles, “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “I Saw Her Standing There.”

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 26 - or at least, unless something changes later. Have a safe Thursday.