There are now 41 days remaining until the next Orioles game. It’s still two days until position players are required to report to spring training in Sarasota, although many are there already.
It’s been 24 days since Mike Mussina, the greatest Orioles pitcher of my lifetime, was elected to the Hall of Fame. The team has not announced any plans for a jersey retirement or statue.
In fairness (sort of) to the Orioles, the team has been behind on announcing things that one might expect to be announced by the middle of February for the upcoming season. It was only yesterday that the team announced the spring training broadcast schedule. They waited until nine days before the first Grapefruit League game to announce that it would be televised. That seems late to me, but what do I know?
Also yesterday, there was some official news about who’s going to be doing Orioles radio broadcasts this season. Longtime radio man Joe Angel is waving it bye-bye after a fantastic career, he confirmed last night:
You may have heard..after 42 years..the game has ended. I wind up “IN THE WINNN COLUMN” Thank you Baltimore for the privilege, memories and Lovely Totals. I will miss you.— Joe Angel (@WaveItByeBye) February 14, 2019
I am now retired...and an #orioles fan forever. Hoping my greatest Oriole memory is yet to come. Luv u all
The Orioles have also not divulged a schedule for giveaway games for the regular season. For reasons that are obvious, it doesn’t really matter this year like it would in some previous years. The team will be hard-pressed to come up with any kind of giveaway that will move the needle when there’s not many established good players left, along with a brand new manager.
Sitting here in February, nobody seems appropriate for a gnome, a bobblehead, or even a t-shirt, necessarily. It’s still weird to have the blank schedule so far, though.
Around the blogO’sphere
Kremer unable to throw due to oblique strain (School of Roch)
If you were telling yourself that the most exciting thing about this spring would be seeing how Dean Kremer, acquired in the Manny Machado deal, pitches, you’re going to have to wait. Something tells me it’s going to be more than the first quoted “back in a couple of weeks.”
New Orioles pitcher Nathan Karns decided to make his comeback on the road less taken (Baltimore Sun)
Ages and ages hence, he might be saying with a sigh, two roads diverged in a wood and I - I went back to pitch in the AL East.
Orioles to give late innings to Mychal Givens (Orioles.com)
Early in Buck Showalter’s tenure, he famously filmed a MASN commercial in which he proclaimed not to care about the save rule. He seldom managed that way. We’ll see if Brandon Hyde follows a different path.
Would occasional use of an opener work for the Orioles? (Steve Melewski)
The Orioles would appear to have 80% of a starting rotation, with a variety of names in competition for a fifth starter spot. Mike Elias did not rule out using an opener, but he didn’t commit to it, either.
Birthdays and anniversaries
One year ago today, the Orioles announced the signing of Andrew Cashner to a two-year, $16 million contract. Maybe Mike Elias will turn out to be better at evaluating free agent pitching, or developing pitching so there’s no need to sign a free agent, than Dan Duquette’s squadron of non-analytically-inclined dopes proved to be.
There are a pair of former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 1997 reliever Brian Williams, and 1960-64 rotation member Chuck Estrada. Today is Estrada’s 81st birthday, so an extra happy birthday for him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564), Declaration of Independence signer Abraham Clark (1726), philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748), piano man Henry E. Steinway (1797), women’s suffrage activist Susan B. Anthony (1820), The Simpsons creator Matt Groening (1954), funny man Chris Farley (1964), and rapper Birdman (1969).
On this day in history...
In 1493, Christopher Columbus, sailing back from the New World aboard his ship the Niña, sat down and penned an open letter that would be distributed widely upon his return. In a slight error of geography, he believed the islands he had discovered, including modern Cuba, were located in the Indian Ocean and part of Asia.
In 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed an act of Congress which allowed women attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 1898, while harbored in Havana, the battleship USS Maine exploded and sank, resulting in the death of 274 men - almost 75% of her crew. The Spanish were blamed, with the rallying cry “Remember the Maine!” contributing to the start of the Spanish-American War in two months. It’s now believed an internal coal fire caused the explosion.
In 1933, then-president-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt was giving a speech in Miami when a gunman, Giuseppe Zangara, opened fire with the intent of assassinating Roosevelt. Zangara missed his target with his five shots, but Chicago mayor Anton J. Cermak was hit and later died of his wounds.
In 1965, Canada adopted the red-and-white maple leaf as its national flag.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 15 - or at least, until something happens later down in Sarasota. Here’s hoping there are no more surprise oblique injuries. Have a safe Friday.