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Friday Bird Droppings: Where we’re less than a month from baseball

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Fake baseball, but still.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The Orioles’ offseason has felt like an interminable slog at times. But spring training is just around the corner, assuming your definition of a corner is, like, a few weeks.

Two and a half weeks from today, on Feb. 11, Orioles pitchers and catchers will report to spring training, and we’ll be positively flooded with glowing stories about how well the ball is coming out of so-and-so’s hand, or how such-and-such player is in the best shape of his life. I can already taste it.

Five days after that, position players will report. And by the end of that week — less than a month from today — the O’s will take the field against an opponent for the first time. They’ll kick off their Grapefruit League schedule Feb. 22 against the Braves at a place called CoolToday Park. At last, the 2020 Orioles will play baseball — and they’ll soon probably get sick of it, considering they’re scheduled to play 17 exhibition games in their first 16 days. But whatever, it’s spring, and they’ll have a huge roster of players to pull from. Nobody’s going to get too exhausted by March.

So let’s all just hang in there a little bit longer, and soon we’ll get our first look at the 2020 Orioles. For better or for worse.

Links

Why did Ryan Mountcastle miss the Baseball America top 100? - Steve Melewski
Before you storm Baseball America’s door with torches and pitchforks for leaving Ryan Mountcastle off their top 100 list, read J.J. Cooper’s reasonable explanation for the omission. And it doesn’t mean Mountcastle’s not a good prospect, so relax.

7 low-key O’s additions who could impact in ’20 - Orioles.com
I find it extremely unlikely that most of the players listed will even get significant playing time, let alone impact the Orioles this year. But I’m prepared to eat crow if Rob Zastryzny is named 2020 Most Valuable Oriole.

Orioles’ Birdland Caravan sounds like a nice idea - BaltimoreBaseball.com
The Orioles are trying out a new caravan, and Rich Dubroff is on board, no pun intended. Same here. I much prefer the Orioles coming to my town than me having to go to theirs. Mainly because I’m lazy.

Holt: “It’s a really special group of coaches who are here” - School of Roch
The O’s may very well have a special group of coaches, but I feel like we hear the same thing at the start of every season, only for several coaches to get replaced at the end of the year. Pardon my cynicism.

Orioles Sign Brady Rodgers, Taylor Davis - MLB Trade Rumors
The Orioles signed two players who, between them, have four last names. Check out the YouTube link at the bottom of the article for a delightful montage of Davis staring at TV cameras.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your two O’s birthday buddies are 1978-83 reliever Tim Stoddard (67) and 2016 five-gamer Ashur Tolliver (32).

On this day in 1961, the Orioles traded catcher Clint Courtney — who was best known for his gigantic, custom-made mitt for catching Hoyt Wilhelm’s knuckleballs — as part of a five-player package to the Kansas City Athletics for Whitey Herzog and Russ Snyder. The O’s ended up getting Courtney back after just one game with the A’s, while Snyder became a useful reserve outfielder for seven years in Baltimore.