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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where Orioles Opening Day is finally here

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Ready or not, Orioles baseball is back.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles
There won’t be much of a crowd by the Warehouse today since the Orioles open on the road.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

The day has finally arrived. Orioles baseball is back! It’s Opening Day. Everybody is 0-0, except for the Mariners and Athletics who already played two games in Japan. Anything, technically, could happen in the season to come. It’s fun to dream a little bit, even when the dream is stupid and you know it will never come true. There are about six hours from the time this post publishes until the first pitch of the season.

After a spring that saw the exciting young players who might be part of the next good O’s team mostly sent to the minors, these are our guys. GM Mike Elias has deemed it for the best if players like Austin Hays, Yusniel Diaz, and Chance Sisco begin the year in the minors. He’s probably right, but it’s still not fun to think about an Opening Day outfield that includes Trey Mancini even with Mark Trumbo cleared out of the way by being on the injured list.

That’s not to say that there’s nothing to hope for this season. We can hope for a lot. Maybe Chris Davis will revive his career rather than continue to sink into oblivion. Maybe some players finally getting freed from the know-nothing anti-analytics stance of the previous regime will spark better performance that makes them look like they might belong in MLB.

For any individual player, we can hope for some nice scenario, even if we don’t expect it to happen. If everything breaks just right, maybe the Orioles won’t end the season with the worst record in MLB again. But even if they do have the worst record, then there’s still the hope of having the #1 pick in the draft, and the hope of having a front office supported by ownership that will actually start to invest some money internationally.

It might not be a good season for the Orioles on the field. OK, it definitely won’t be. Hopefully June is more interesting than April and August is more interesting than June. It all starts today. If you haven’t done so yet, drop in to our introductions thread and say hello.

Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 65 days ago. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey or erect his statue at Camden Yards.

Around the blogO’sphere

As new era begins, Orioles aim to provide fans with a team they can watch grow (Baltimore Sun)
This article is trying to sell us on an improved defense. Maybe they’re right.

Long-shot Orioles get bets to win World Series (ESPN)
There is at least one person in the world who bet $500 on the Orioles to win the World Series this year. And they “only” got 1,000-1 odds!

Orioles preview: Local media personalities weigh in (Press Box)
A variety of local writers and sports talkers, including yours truly, ruminate about what constitutes success for the 2019 Orioles.

Revisiting the opener, camp roster decisions, and more (School of Roch)
In which Mike Elias again repeats that minor league stats have more predictive value than spring training stats. I’m sure he’s not wrong, but it’s not an exciting truth.

Kremer demonstrates delivery, slider (Orioles.com)
The players who will hopefully matter in the future are starting the year in the minors, including Dean Kremer, who was acquired from the Dodgers in the Manny Machado deal.

Examining the Orioles waiver wire options as Opening Day looms (Baltimore Sun)
The roster is the roster, at least until Elias decides that some scrub crossing the waiver wire is better than one of the scrubs he’s already got kicking around.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Today in 1999, the Orioles made their historic visit to Cuba, where they were victorious, 3-2, in an 11-inning exhibition game against the Cuban amateur team.

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2014-15 reserve first baseman Christian Walker, 1997 swingman Shawn Boskie, and 1991-93 first baseman Glenn Davis.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Renaissance painter Raphael (1483), brewer Frederick Pabst (1836), musician/actress Reba McEntire (1955), actress Julia Stiles (1981), and musician/actress Lady Gaga (1986).

On this day in history...

In 1854, Britain and France joined the Crimean War by declaring war on Russia. The Russians had ignored an ultimatum to withdraw from the Danube Principalities that it had taken from the Ottoman Empire the previous year.

In 1862, the Union Army defeated a Confederate force in the Battle of Glorieta Pass, foiling an invasion of the New Mexico Territory during the Civil War. Although the Confederates drove the Union troops from the field, their supplies were destroyed in the battle and they were forced to retreat from the area.

In 1910, Frenchman Henri Fabre took off in his seaplane, the Fabre Hydravion, near Martigues, France. This holds the distinction of being the first flight of a seaplane in history.

In 1942, a force of British commandos raided and destroyed the facilities in the dry dock at St. Nazaire in occupied France. Just 228 men of the 611 in the operation safely returned to Britain after the operation, but the dock was never used again for the rest of World War II, denying German warships in the Atlantic access to repairs.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on Opening Day - or at least, until something changes later when the Orioles play the Yankees. Have a safe Monday. Go O’s!