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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Birdland Caravan may soon be arriving near you

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The Orioles announced their FanFest replacement yesterday. At least they’re trying.

Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 63 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. The 1963 Orioles finished with an 86-76 record, fourth place in the American League and 18.5 games out of first place. Future Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson won the fourth of his eventual 16 consecutive Gold Gloves.

We’ve only got 19 days left until pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota for the start of spring training. As was reported earlier in the week, that group will include Adley Rutschman. The team hasn’t yet announced the full list of non-roster invites to spring training. Maybe today will be the day.

One thing that the Orioles did announce yesterday is the Birdland Caravan, where some current and former Orioles players, coaches, and staff will be crossing Maryland over the weekend of February 7-9, just before everyone has to head down to Sarasota.

If you really liked FanFest and everything about it, this event is no equal replacement. Adley Rutschman and Richie Martin showing up at a Greene Turtle in White Marsh with two-for-one drinks (except shots and hell-in-the-shells) from 4-6 pm isn’t the same. No autographs at this event, by the way. But I’m hopeful this will turn out to be a plus for the O’s to fan out and go to the places where fans are across the area.

There won’t be the kind of Q&A or panel stuff that anyone could have come to expect from FanFest. For myself, I won’t be regretting their absence. The idea of, say, Mike Elias facing questions from fans is nice. The reality of it is that much of that would be spent on the largely irrelevant Orioles-related concerns of the people who are handed microphones, like last year when people kept asking if they were going to bring back Adam Jones.

Who knows, though. Maybe someone will get him to say something interesting, and it will be recorded and then spread to public knowledge, when he shows up with Hanser Alberto, Ryan McKenna, and Brian Roberts at La Palapa Grill and Cantina in Ellicott City from 11am-12pm on February 8.

Around the blogO’sphere

Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, DL Hall represent Orioles on Baseball America Top 100 prospects list (Baltimore Sun)
Good news: The last three Orioles first round picks are among the top 50 prospects in baseball. Bad news: No other players in the Orioles minors rank among the game’s top 100 - at least according to Baseball America. Ryan Mountcastle and Yusniel Diaz have dropped off.

Orioles interested in bringing back Beckham (School of Roch)
This would be a less exciting development than when the team signed Jose Iglesias to play shortstop.

Nunez hopes to show last year wasn’t a fluke (Baltimore Baseball)
Renato Nunez was worth 1.1 bWAR last year. It’s true that it would be nice if that wasn’t a fluke, but when even that level of performance is getting scrutinized as a possible fluke, it doesn’t say good things.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2010, the Orioles signed Miguel Tejada for the second time. It was less magical than the first time.

There are a handful of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2014 three-gamer Cord Phelps, 1997-98 reserve catcher Charlie Greene, 1993/95 outfielder Sherman Obando, 1990 infielder Marty Brown (no known relation), and the late Chico Carrasquel of the 1959 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: famous signature writer John Hancock (1737), novelist Stendhal (1783), Frisbee inventor Walter Frederick Morrison (1920), Broadway legend Chita Rivera (1933), and actress Tiffani Thiessen (1974).

On this day in history...

In 1368, Zhu Yuanzhong had his coronation to become the Hongwu Emperor of China. The dynasty he founded, Ming, ruled until 1644.

In 1795, during the French Revolutionary Wars, a French cavalry force charged across the frozen Zuiderzee in modern-day Netherlands and captured 14 Dutch Republic warships. The Zuiderzee itself no longer exists today after 20th century reclamation of land.

In 1849, Ms. Elizabeth Blackwell was awarded an M.D. from Geneva Medical College in New York, making her the first female doctor in the United States.

In 1964, the 24th Amendment, which prohibits poll taxes, was ratified after South Dakota became the 38th state to ratify the amendment. Maryland was the 7th state to ratify, passing it the previous February.

In 1986, the first class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees announced. The first honorees: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley.

The recently announced 2020 inductees: The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G., and T. Rex. That’s a mix, isn’t it?

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 23 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Thursday.