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Friday Bird Droppings: Where there will be baseball this month

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It’s officially February. The Orioles will be playing baseball in Sarasota before the month is out.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Cold enough for ya? Har har!

Seriously, though, the weather around these parts (and especially in the Midwest) is absolutely miserable right now, with the polar vortex bringing dangerously cold temperatures to much of the country. Be safe, and consider staying indoors if you can.

With the harsh winter in full swing, it’s hard to believe that there will be actual baseball this very month (depending on whether you consider spring training to be actual baseball). We’ve made it to February, which means we’re tantalizingly close to players reporting to camp and preparing for the 2019 season. Orioles pitchers and catchers report in 11 days, the rest of the squad reports by the 17th, and the Grapefruit League schedule begins on Feb. 23.

I, for one, am more than ready to get started. I’m ready to hear which players are in the best shape of their life, which pitchers have the ball coming out of their hand good, and which hitters are swatting bombs in intrasquad games.

And yes, we all know the Orioles are probably going to be terrible this season, at least in terms of wins and losses. But it’s still baseball. And baseball is always better than no baseball.

Soon, my friends. Soon.

Links

Wait may be long for another Orioles Hall of Famer - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Now that Mike Mussina has elected not to wear an Orioles logo on his Hall of Fame plaque, who’s the next player who actually will? As Rich Dubroff says, it could be a long time before that player comes around.

Are the Orioles headed in the right direction? | Baltimore Orioles
Joe Trezza answers questions from readers, including one poor, naive soul who asks if the Orioles could trade Chris Davis in July if he gets hot. Sir, you are adorable.

Pondering a few questions as spring training gets close - Steve Melewski
Steve Melewski raises a few questions about the Orioles, which reminds us that the O’s are currently lacking a starting catcher, middle infielder, and two-fifths of the rotation. Like I said before, this season could be ugly.

A reunion between the Orioles and Adam Jones is looking like a long shot - Baltimore Sun
Not unexpected, but too bad.

Castro would find relief in throwing more strikes - School of Roch
Speaking as someone who has covered a few FanFests, one good thing about it is that you can gather enough quotes in one day to dole out for weeks’ worth of blog posts. Here it’s time to hear what Miguel Castro had to say that day.

Orioles birthdays

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four O’s birthday buddies, none more notable than Orioles Hall of Famer and prominent member of #TeamPaul, Paul Blair. Blair spent 13 years in Baltimore and may well have been the most gifted defensive outfielder in franchise history, racking up eight Gold Gloves for his stupendous leather in center field. Combine that with his solid offensive performance and you have a pretty darn valuable player. Blair would have been 75 today, but he died the day after Christmas in 2013.

Other ex-Orioles with birthdays today are 2012 two-gamer Joe Mahoney (32), 1998 outfielder Rich Becker (47), and lefty Kent Mercker (51), whom the O’s traded to bring Eddie Murray back to Baltimore in 1996.