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Monday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are unbeaten in 2019

The Orioles have played two spring games and they haven’t lost yet. It’s better than nothing, right?

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 31 days to go until the next Orioles game that counts. Between now and then are an equal number of spring training games, including today, when the O’s, or some of them at least, travel to play the Twins at 1:05. This game will be broadcast online only, for free, at or through the MLB At Bat app.

Through their first two spring games, the Orioles have not been beaten. Today will mark the first road game, so it’ll be a different sort of competition as they’re likely to face more MLB regulars. There have been good things, like Chance Sisco and Yusniel Diaz both homering on Saturday, and less exciting, if unsurprising, things, like Chris Davis striking out twice in his first spring action yesterday.

One game should not be used to say Davis has changed nothing and is getting no better results, but if this turns into a spring pattern, it’s not like it’s a mystery why it’s happening. The question will then become when the Mike Elias Orioles decide to do something about it.

The biggest thing that matters through spring training is for nobody to get hurt. The O’s are already on the wrong end of this, with the oblique injury suffered by pitching prospect Dean Kremer before he reported to camp, and a possible situation that revealed itself on Saturday for another player involved in that trade.

After two days, we haven’t seen all of the 63 players on the camp roster, and the ones we have seen, we haven’t seen much of. It’s a weird environment in spring training. The wind always does things to fly balls that it’s not going to do in major league cities with different climates. Everybody’s shaking off rust, maybe working on things. Meaningless success just feels better than meaningless failure, though.

It’s now been 34 days since Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Orioles have not announced any plans for a jersey retirement or statue.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles to rest fireballer prospect Pop (
Zach Pop, acquired in the Manny Machado trade, pitched in the first spring game on Saturday and raised eyebrows with his lack of velocity. Hopefully it doesn’t turn out to be anything serious.

Top prospect Yusniel Diaz homers to show dividents of adjusted swing mechanics (Baltimore Sun)
Diaz has traded a toe tap for a leg lift. May Saturday’s homer be the first of many he hits in an Orioles uniform!

Orioles acquire pitcher David Lebron (School of Roch)
Elias dipped into the Dan Duquette playbook by trading international signing bonus slot money for a minor league player. He was honest at FanFest that there wasn’t much of anybody left to sign at this point. We’ll find out how committed the O’s are to international signings when the next period starts on July 2.

Right-hander David Hess on his spring debut (Steve Melewski)
Somebody’s going to have to claim that #5 spot in the rotation. Maybe it will be Hess.

Frederick’s Branden Kline makes dynamic debut for Orioles (Baltimore Baseball)
If the Maryland native is on the team this year, he’s going to be one of the easy guys to root for on what could be an unexciting roster.

The Orioles’ new analytics-driven regime is already shifting the team’s culture (Washington Post)
“They were very good at the last generation of baseball,” said Alex Cobb of the old regime. The Orioles were overdue for a change.

Birthdays and anniversaries

In 1975, the Orioles traded Boog Powell, then 33 years old, to the Indians for Dave Duncan and Alvin McGrew. The O’s would go on to win 90 games that season, finishing five games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. They could have probably rather used Powell’s .297/.377/.524 batting line he put up with the Indians instead of what they got from first baseman Lee May or designated hitter Tommy Davis.

A pair of former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 1989-91 reliever Kevin Hickey, and 1964 swingman Dave Vineyard.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Royal Crescent (Bath, England) arcihtect John Wood the Younger (1728), baseball Hall of Famer Ron Santo (1940), wrestler Ric Flair (1949), actor Sean Astin (1970), and actress Rashida Jones (1976).

On this day in history...

In 1797, a French force seeking to support the Society of United Irishmen was defeated in the Battle of Fishguard in Wales. History remembers this now as the Last Invasion of Britain.

In 1836, Samuel Colt received a patent for his revolver design. His initial plan had a five-bullet cylinder.

In 1870, Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first black man to serve in the U.S. Congress when he was sworn into the Senate. Revels was elected by Mississippi’s legislature to finish a Senate term that had been vacant due to the Civil War. Eight senators voted against allowing Revels to be seated, claiming that the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision of 1857 meant Revels could not have been a citizen for at least nine years.

In 1956, Nikita Khruschev delivered a speech to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in which the Soviet leader denounced a cult of personality that had been established around Joseph Stalin, who died in 1953.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 25 - or at least, until something happens later down in Sarasota. Have a safe Monday.