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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where Opening Day is a month away

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The Orioles will play a real game in just 28 days. For now, Sisco is raking, Cobb is soon to make his debut, and more.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox
Chance Sisco now has three spring training home runs.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 28 days to go until the next Orioles game. Opening Day is just a month away from today! In four weeks time, the games will start to count, the start times will largely switch to the standard civilized baseball time of 7:05pm, and the rosters will have been pared down to size.

For now, there’s another several weeks of games that do not count. The Orioles have a 3-2 record through their first five games of the Grapefruit League schedule, including a 7-6 win on the road against the Red Sox yesterday. Catcher Chance Sisco hit two home runs in the game, with Maryland native Branden Kline among the pitchers who notched scoreless innings.

Another game awaits today as the Orioles travel to Phillies camp to play the team that claimed to have “stupid money” early in the offseason, did not manage to sign Manny Machado, and does not appear to be about to sign Bryce Harper. UPDATE: The Phillies signed Harper for 13 years and $330 million. Remember, just like Jon Snow, I know nothing.

Dylan Bundy is scheduled to start for the O’s. The following pitchers are also expected to get action in the game: Pedro Araujo, Miguel Castro, Cody Carroll, David Hess, and Jimmy Yacabonis. The game will be broadcast online through either Orioles.com or the MLB At Bat app. It’s also being broadcast on MLB Network.

The Orioles unveiled their schedule for promotions and giveaways yesterday. The schedule does not list any promotion or giveaway to honor Mike Mussina’s Hall of Fame election. It’s been 37 days since the greatest Orioles pitcher of the last 30 years was elected and the team has announced no plans to retire his jersey or have his statue join the other Orioles Hall of Famers.

One of the ongoing stories from O’s camp since it opened is that nobody really knows who is going to make the Opening Day roster. On yesterday’s stream of the game, Baltimore Baseball’s Rich Dubroff noted that in recent years you could predict 22 or more players of the 25-man roster at the start of camp.

This year, more than half of the spots seem to be up for grabs at this juncture. There’s not even any guarantee that some players who seemed to be favorites of Dan Duquette’s regime will have a place with the new order. Dubroff also talked about how it’ll be interesting to see what Mike Elias makes of some Duquette guys, like Sisco, DJ Stewart, and Anthony Santander, among others.

Stability was better when stability meant winning. Yet the O’s kept sticking with a lot of the same people as 2016’s wild card turned into 2017’s 75 wins and 2018’s 47 wins. Now things are chaotic, and they aren’t expected to result in good baseball for a while, but we’re certainly going to get to see some new faces getting chances.

Around the blogO’sphere

O’s new manager collecting Harveys (Orioles.com)
In a great “small world” story, Brandon Hyde managed Hunter Harvey’s older brother Kris earlier in his coaching career.

Sisco: “I feel really good up there” (School of Roch)
Sisco says he worked on his swing in the offseason. It’s showed so far in spring training games, at least.

Alex Cobb to make spring debut Friday; Sucre nearing arrival (Baltimore Sun)
Cobb is debuting at the start of the home half of a split-squad on Friday. You won’t be able to watch the game, but it will be on the Orioles Radio Network.

DJ Stewart on vibe in camp and competing with other young players (Steve Melewski)
There’s been no shortage of quotes from camp that have been said as if things were different before. Stewart remarked on “an open and honest” coaching staff and a “we’re all in this together” atmosphere among the players.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are three former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1996 reliever Mike Milchin, 1981 two-gamer Dallas Williams, and the late Dick Kokos, who appeared in 11 games for the inaugural 1954 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: race car driver Mario Andretti (1940), actress Bernadette Peters (1948), and musician Jason Aldean (1977).

On this day in history...

In 202 BC, following his victory in the Battle of Gaixia, Liu Bang proclaimed himself Emperor of China, launching four centuries of Han dynasty rule.

In 1525 AD, the Aztec king, Cuauhtémoc, was executed on orders of the conquistador, Cortes.

In 1935, a scientist working for DuPont, Wallace Carothers, invented nylon.

In 1953, close friends of scientists James Watson and Francis Crick learned that the two men had determined the chemical structure of DNA.

In 1983, the 256th and last episode of M*A*S*H aired. With over 100 million viewers in the US, the episode is regarded as both the most-watched series finale and most-watched television episode to this day. It held the record for most-watched US TV broadcast until it was passed by the 2010 Super Bowl.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 28 - or at least, until something happens later down in Florida. Have a safe Thursday.