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Monday Bird Droppings: Where spring training starts tomorrow

Orioles baseball, or at least the spring training approximation of it, is almost back in our lives. Are you ready?

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 45 days remaining until the next Orioles game. Pitchers and catchers report for the beginning of spring training tomorrow, which as a famous musical number reminds us, is only a day away.

It’s been 20 days since Mike Mussina, the greatest Orioles pitcher of my lifetime, was elected to the Hall of Fame and the team has not announced any plans for a jersey retirement or statue.

The big players remain unsigned. This fact remains weird. Position players report a few days after the pitchers and catchers, so technically the teams that want Manny Machado and/or Bryce Harper have got some time to get them signed before the first full squad workouts. After months of rumors, perhaps it will all happen in a blink. For now, they sit at home.

Jim Palmer weighed in a bit on the unsigned players on Twitter on Sunday:

Obviously, this is never going to happen, but it’s an amusing thought exercise. Would you want the Orioles to go crazy and do this? Palmer is not wrong that those signings would only put the Orioles at last year’s MLB salary level. How many games do you think a team with Machado plus Harper plus the rest of the current Orioles roster would end up winning?

Around the blogO’sphere

The Orioles traded for pitchers who improved based on analytics last year. Now they have to give them those tools again. (Baltimore Sun)
From the “A lot of people should have gotten fired long before they left their jobs” files. This is more outrageous than most: All of Dean Kremer, Bruce Zimmermann, and Dillon Tate credited analytics with improvement with their old teams, and it seems that the pre-Elias Orioles were not employing some of those analytics that helped those players. Whoops!

Taking the rotation for another spin (School of Roch)
Roch wants to know if you would sign another veteran for the rotation or just leave the last spot competition for the plethora of younger players. While I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of competitions among the young pitchers for the #4 and #5 spots, I think a rotating young 5th starter sounds fine.

Orioles prospects might get chance to shine (
If there’s one thing that can be said about the Orioles right now, it’s this: Guys who look like they can play are going to get a chance.

Joe Angel retiring from Orioles broadcasts (Baltimore Baseball)
As yet, no other outlet has joined this report. It would be weird to hear O’s games without Angel on the radio, but he is 71 and if he doesn’t want to do it forever, no one can blame him.

Gary Kendall talks about managing Norfolk in 2019 (Steve Melewski)
Last year’s Bowie manager has gotten a promotion for this year. Melewski notes a small world twist: Kendall and new O’s manager Brandon Hyde were both managers in the South Atlantic League in 2005 and 2006.

Sunday notes: The Orioles newest pitcher evokes Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Fangraphs)
He doesn’t mean Jim Palmer.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2015 two-gamer Cesar Cabral, 2009-16 pitcher Brian Matusz, and 2012 reliever Matt Lindstrom.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: early photography pioneer Henry Fox Talbot (1800), inventor Thomas Edison (1847), nuclear physicist Leo Szilard (1898), actor Leslie Nielsen (1926), musician Sheryl Crow (1962), and actress Jennifer Aniston (1969).

On this day in history...

In 1812, Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry was accused of drawing strange-looking Congressional districts to benefit his supporters. We still know the term today: gerrymander.

In 1938, a BBC production of a play called R.U.R. by Karel Capek aired. This is regarded as the world’s first science fiction TV program. The source work first coined the term “robot.”

In 1943, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was named the Supreme Commander of Allied forces in Europe.

In 1973, the first wave of American prisoners of war from the Vietnam War was released.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 11 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Monday.