There are now 66 days left until Orioles Opening Day. The 1966 season must have been a fun one to be an O’s fan, what with newly-acquired slugger Frank Robinson winning the Triple Crown and an MVP award as the team put up a 97-63 regular season record and then swept the Dodgers in the World Series. This was the team’s first championship. Hopefully it doesn’t take until 2066 to see their first title of the 21st century.
A mere 22 days stand between now and pitchers and catchers reporting for the start of spring training. Today doesn’t figure to offer much in the way of baseball news to pass the time, though tomorrow will, with the release of the results of Hall of Fame voting. For obvious reasons, prepare yourself for a vomit-inspiring outcome. Still, hopefully Larry Walker slips in under the wire in his final year of eligibility.
Do you think there will be any more swirling drama this week around the whole business of sign stealing and possible use of electronic equipment? Assorted accusations of Astros players being equipped with buzzers blew up out of nowhere last week.
Stuff will still be in the news if only because teams who now need to replace either a manager or a GM as a result of this will be making their replacement choices soon. There’s also still the question of whether the Red Sox will get a similar penalty as the Astros did; anticipating that, they’ve already taken the opportunity to chase off apparent ringleader Alex Cora from his managing position. And conveniently enough, the new GM has an opportunity to find “his” guy instead of inheriting the 2018 World Series champion who he can’t get rid of.
As for the Orioles, hope remains slim for 2020, but as you’ll see in the day’s links roundup, excitement, or at least mild interest, is building around a few of the O’s better-ranked minor leaguers.
If your current education or employment status gives you today off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I hope you are able to enjoy the day off. Among his speeches and letters are some of the most famous passages in American history. Take a few minutes to read one today.
Around the blogO’sphere
Cal Ripken Jr. on likely NFL MVP Lamar Jackson: “It’s his time. ... He’s the No. 8 in Baltimore now” (The Athletic)
This blessing would be more exciting if the Ravens and not the Chiefs were headed to the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks, but hey. Game recognize game.
Wojciechowski changing his approach to pitching (School of Roch)
Roch delivers the news that current probable #3 starter Asher Wojciechowski has spent the winter working on a fourth pitch. If the pitch survives contact with spring training, that could be interesting.
Inbox: How will O’s top prospects fare in 2020? (Orioles.com)
MLB.com’s Joe Trezza has his guesses on who you might see in Baltimore this year from the O’s stable of prospects. Hold off on that Adley Rutschman MLB hype until 2021.
Some prospect recognition for the Orioles (Steve Melewski)
The folks at MLB Pipeline have been putting out top 10 prospect lists by position, which has picked up four Orioles so far - Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, DL Hall, and Ryan Mountcastle.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a number of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2012 short-timer Luis Exposito, 2014-15 outfielder David Lough, 2008-10 reliever Matt Albers, 1998 twelve-gamer Ozzie Guillen, 1988 four-gamer Bill Scherrer, 1971 reliever Dave Boswell, and 1960-61 outfielder Gene Stephens. Stephens just passed away last year at the age of 86.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Declaration of Independence signer Richard Henry Lee (1732), actor DeForest Kelley (1920), astronaut Buzz Aldrin (1930), movie man David Lynch (1946), singer-songwriter Edwin McCain (1970), and The Roots’ Questlove (1971).
On this day in history...
In 1649, England’s king, Charles I, began his trial over a variety of crimes that included treason. Although Charles repeatedly denounced the authority of the court to sit in judgment of him, they found him guilty nonetheless and cut off his head ten days later.
In 1937, Franklin Roosevelt and John Nance Garner were sworn in for a second term as president and vice president. This was the first inauguration to take place on January 20, after the 20th Amendment changed the previous date. 16 years later, Dwight Eisenhower became the first president to begin his term of office on this date.
In 1986, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated as a federal holiday for the first time, after having been approved by Congress in 1983.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 20 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Monday.