There are now 73 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. The 1973 season was a good one for the Orioles, with a 97-65 record giving them an AL East title, though they lost a then-best-of-five American League Championship Series to the Athletics. Bobby Grich led the team with 8.3 bWAR.
Over the weekend, we crossed past the one month to go mark for when pitchers and catchers report for the start of spring training. For the dedicated, spring training tickets are now on sale as well. Of course, both of these approaching dates would be a lot more exciting to think about if there was much in the way of plausible hope for team success for the 2020 Orioles.
Sadly for those who are fans of both of Baltimore’s professional sports teams, football does not remain as a diversion to get us closer to spring training. I remember having the sense of dread after the Lee Evans/Billy Cundiff playoff game, “What if this is as close as they get again for a long time?” And the Ravens won the Super Bowl the next year. So that was fun.
We can hope that the 2020 Ravens season has more of that 2012 rebound season after a tough playoff loss than, say, the 2016 Orioles. I had that exact same sinking “What if this is as close as they get again for a long time?” feeling after the 2016 Wild Card game. Three full seasons later, with a fourth bad year approaching, that feeling has yet to be chased off by reality.
Around the blogO’sphere
Ureña linked to Orioles before waiver claim (Roch Kubatko)
Roch remembers new Orioles waiver wire acquisition Richard Ureña as one of the then-prospect names thrown around back during the “Blue Jays trying to poach Dan Duquette” saga. None of the names today are ones to make you wish the O’s had let Duquette go.
2020 ZiPS projections: Baltimore Orioles (Fangraphs)
This isn’t going to be the last time that the 2020 Orioles are projected to be a bad baseball team, but it is going to be one of the most thorough projections. Folks, it ain’t pretty.
Pipeline poll on farm systems and prospects (MLB Pipeline)
For anyone out there who finds Adley Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez getting “also receiving votes” to be exciting, this is your series of poll questions.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1982, Frank Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Then-home run champion Hank Aaron joined him in the Hall that year.
There’s one lone former Oriole with a birthday today: 2015-16 reliever Oliver Drake.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: novelist Horatio Alger Jr. (1832), actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus (1961), country artist Trace Adkins (1962), television show creator Shonda Rhimes (1970), projection magnate Nate Silver (1978), and actor Liam Hemsworth (1990).
On this day in history...
In 1547, the Earl of Surrey, Henry Howard, was sentenced to death for treason against Henry VIII. His treason was unveiling quartered arms that were deemed too similar to the royal arms. The king died nine days after Howard’s execution.
In 1842, one lone British Army survivor, a surgeon named Dr. William Brydon, made his way into a garrison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. He was the only man to make it from a camp of 16,000 that retreated from Kabul.
In 1898, Emile Zola’s letter J’Accuse...! exposed the Dreyfus affair, a French scandal where a Jewish army officer was framed for espionage. It took until 1906 for Dreyfus to be exonerated.
In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson appointed Robert C. Weaver as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Weaver became the first African-American to serve as a Cabinet secretary.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 13 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Monday.