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Saturday’s Bird Droppings: Where we enter the final weekend without baseball

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The Orioles have signed a big leaguer and announced their minor league coaching staffs.

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Morning, Birdland!

It’s been a brutally cold off-season in the Baltimore area, and the threat of snow and below-freezing temperatures will remain in the air for several more weeks at least. But there is an oasis nearing. Orioles pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota, Florida this week, Tuesday to be precise. Our annual, months-long nightmare is nearly over.

The first official game of the Orioles spring won’t take place until February 23, there won’t be live radio coverage of any action until the 25th, apparently, and the team is yet to unveil an official TV schedule for the spring. So, we do need to contain our “excitement” for a little while longer.

For now, let’s get jazzed about seeing B-roll of the pitchers playing catch and hearing interviews with a bunch of players and coaches we’ve never heard of before. Woo!

Links

Joe Angel’s retiring from Orioles broadcasts - Baltimore Baseball
Noooooooooooooooooooooo! It’s not official, but this is a supreme bummer if true. Blah.

Orioles announce 2019 minor league coaches and development staff - CC
I won’t pretend to understand the minutiae of baseball organizations and their minor league coaching decisions, but Buck Britton seems to be highly-regarded by the Orioles brass. He’s gone from Delmarva hitting coach to Delmarva manager to Bowie manager in three successive seasons across two different front offices. Pretty impressive for a 32-year-old.

A Uni Watch Look at Frank Robinson - Uni Watch
Frank Robinson wore a lot of uniforms during his storied career. He’s been immortalized in three cities, but we will always think of him with the smiling bird on his cap.

Why signing Nate Karns is exactly the kind of move the O’s should make - The Athletic
It’s a one-year deal for Karns that could be worth as little as $800,000. The Orioles get the possible added bonus of holding onto the pitcher for an additional year through arbitration if they’re interested. It’s a fine deal for both sides. Karns joins a team that needs veteran pitching, where he will get a fair shot to prove he’s healthy and capable of staying in the bigs. Not flashy, but a logical move by Mike Elias.

Can Cadyn Grenier become the next great Orioles shortstop? - The Athletic
His first season of professional baseball was not too kind to O’s second round pick Cadyn Grenier. No matter how you slice it, he struggled. But his bat started to heat up down the stretch, and his glove is highly regarded by every scouting resource. It’s too early to be comparing him to the likes of Cal, Belanger and Machado, but the 22-year-old has tools that everyone should be excited about.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday!

The biggest name on the list of former Orioles celebrating a birthday today is Vladimir Guerrero. The strong-armed Hall of Famer turns 44. He spent just one season with the O’s, a 145-game 2011 season in which he hit .290/.317/.416 with 13 home runs as the team’s primary DH. His teenage son is expected to torment the Orioles as a member of the division rival Toronto Blue Jays very soon.

Also born on this day was 42-year-old Napoleon Calzado, an infielder for four games on the 2005 O’s. He’s joined by 54-year-old right-handed pitcher Doug Linton, who appeared in 14 games back in ‘99. And we have two posthumous celebrations for Erv Palica (b. 1928, d. 1982) and Vic Wertz (b. 1925, d. 1983), two players that briefly played on Orioles teams in the mid-1950’s.

1982 - A trade! The O’s send infielder Wayne Krenchicki to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitcher Paul Moskau. Krenchicki would play in 332 games for the Reds across four seasons, hitting .283/.350/.393 with a 105 OPS+. Moskau would never play for the Orioles, being plucked off of waivers by the Pirates in early April.

2010 - The O’s attempt to fortify their bullpen with the signings of two lefties: Mark Hendrickson and Will Ohman. It didn’t really work as the team finished 66-96.