There are now 38 days remaining until the next Orioles game. Just five days stand between now and the first exhibition game of the year. Baseball is coming back.
It’s been 27 days since Mike Mussina, the greatest Orioles pitcher of my lifetime, was elected to the Hall of Fame. The team has still not announced any plans for a jersey retirement or statue.
Over the weekend, the full Orioles squad reported to camp. Today is the first workout with the whole team, although a number of players had arrived early and taken some early batting practice.
The unsigned, of course, had not reported anywhere. Will Manny Machado feel any pressure to pick a new team with the regular season now a month and ten days away? Jon Heyman indicated the Padres remain “hopeful” of landing “one of the big fish.” There was also some Heyman-relayed rumored movement between Bryce Harper and the Phillies on Saturday.
Other languishing free agents include the best available starter, Dallas Keuchel, the best available reliever, Craig Kimbrel, and the best Oriole of this century to date, Adam Jones. We know the Orioles will not sign any of these guys, but it’s weird to see what’s happening to them anyway.
Around the blogO’sphere
Orioles add Escobar to middle infield mix; Hyde counting down to first game (Baltimore Baseball)
It’s seldom worth getting worked up about a minor league signing, but something about adding Alcides Escobar, the guy who would have been the worst hitter in MLB last year if it wasn’t for Chris Davis, is particularly uninspiring.
Vision quest: Orioles Rule 5 picks Richie Martin, Drew Jackson saw improved eyesight jump-start careers (Baltimore Sun)
I don’t know if Martin or Jackson will be any good. I’d rather watch them be bad than Escobar be bad. We’ll see how Mike Elias feels about it towards the close of spring training.
This spring Davis will battle his critics and opposing pitchers (Steve Melewski)
If you didn’t hear over the weekend, Davis was in Sarasota a week early, got the flu, and then bronchitis. Not an auspicious beginning.
Orioles pitchers using technology in camp (Orioles.com)
One of the early stories in O’s camp has been the appearance of new cameras that have become standard across baseball but the Duquette/Showalter O’s were slow to adopt. The Elias O’s are full speed ahead on using this new stuff.
Eric Young Jr. on his opportunity and leadership role (School of Roch)
As above, it’s probably not worth getting worked up about any minor league signing. A lot of time in spring training is spent on guys who will never make the team. But if this guy makes the team while Jones remains unsigned by the O’s or anyone else, I’ll be a little annoyed.
Austin Hays is healthy and ready to re-establish himself as a top outfield prospect (Baltimore Sun)
The Orioles could use all the prospects they can get their hands on, so here’s hoping that Hays can get some of the shine back that he lost last year.
Birthdays and anniversaries
There are three former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: the late Walter Young, 2005 infielder; 2009 backup catcher Chad Moeller, and 1990-91 reserve Jeff McKnight.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: England’s “Bloody” Mary I (1516), battery inventor Alessandro Volta (1745), physicist Ernst Mach (1838), Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari (1898), musician Yoko Ono (1933), movie man John Hughes (1950), rapper Dr. Dre (1965), actress Molly Ringwald (1968), and musician Regina Spektor (1980).
On this day in history...
In 1229, the Sixth Crusade ended with a treaty that granted Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem to the Crusaders. This crusade was undertaken by the excommunicated Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II, with no papal support or involvement.
In 1885, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published.
In 1930, a cow named Elm Farm Ollie made history as the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft, as well as the first cow to be milked in an aircraft.
Also in 1930, astronomer Clyde Tombaugh was analyzing photographs taken in January and discovered Pluto.
In 1979, the Daytona 500 became the first NASCAR race to be televised from start to finish. A crash on the final lap led to a post-race fistfight. Richard Petty, involved in neither the crash nor the fight, was the winner of the race.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 18 - or at least, unless something happens later while the O’s are getting in their first full squad workout. Have a safe Monday.