There are now 77 days to go until Orioles Opening Day. In the 1977 season, the Orioles finished with a 97-64 record, the same as the Red Sox. Both finished behind the 100-win Yankees and missed the playoffs. Eddie Murray won the AL Rookie of the Year award and Jim Palmer finished in second place for the Cy Young award after having won the previous two years. Palmer was robbed: The winner, Sparky Lyle of the Yankees, was a reliever.
The start of spring training remains a little bit more than a month away. That’s a nice thing to hear for those of us in the Baltimore area who got some snow earlier this week. Not that it can’t snow in Maryland after spring training starts, it just all feels a little warmer when you know that somewhere out there, something resembling Orioles baseball is happening.
Now that shortstop Jose Iglesias is officially in the fold, do you think there will be any other signings of note for the O’s between now and then? The question was on our Alex Church’s mind yesterday and it’s still on my mind today. I tend to think that there won’t be any more position players to add, or at least not on guaranteed MLB deals.
Every other position on the diamond had someone there in 2019 who you can at least say, “It’s probably worth giving him another shot to see if he can be something more.” That’s not to say that those guys will be anything more. I will be surprised if, say, Rio Ruiz is a meaningful part of the next good Orioles team. It’s just that it doesn’t offend me if Ruiz is the third baseman for a little while longer when the O’s are bad. This statement may be revisited if it starts to feel like Ruiz is the reason Ryan Mountcastle isn’t in Baltimore.
Around the blogO’sphere
Taking the latest look at the Orioles roster (School of Roch)
There’s something extremely depressing about reading from a mainstream Orioles beat writer “$3 million is more of a financial commitment than I expected.”
Elias says that the Orioles will look to add veteran talent (Baltimore Baseball)
I don’t know if it will result in any extra additions, but it’s nice to hear the GM say, even in the midst of the rebuilding slog, “We’re still mindful of development, the core that we’re building internally for the future, but we are cognizant of that we want a stable product on the field. We want a good defense behind our pitching staff.”
What Friday’s arbitration deadline means for O’s (Orioles.com)
Things will get figured out, or not, by noon Eastern tomorrow. This could mean that there will be some activity tonight if the team and the four arbitration-eligible players don’t want to take things to a hearing. The O’s have joined the “file and trial” wave of teams, meaning if they don’t agree with players by this deadline, they won’t negotiate further.
Trying to get a handle on cheating via technology in MLB (Steve Melewski)
If you haven’t heard the news this week, there’s new evidence that the Red Sox are yet another New England professional sports team full of cheating cheaters who cheat. Though I won’t breathe completely easy on the whole electronic sign stealing thing until MLB issues punishments about the Astros sign stealing business, which I’m still like 0.7% concerned may touch Mike Elias.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Of all the players to ever play in a game for the Orioles, not a single one was born on this day.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Golden Gate Bridge engineer Joseph Strauss (1870), 37th president Richard Nixon (1913), folk musician Joan Baez (1941), Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page (1944), Dave Matthews Band’s Dave Matthews (1967), and actress Nina Dobrev (1989).
Nixon, then the vice president, threw out the first pitch before the first home game at Memorial Stadium in the first Orioles season in 1954. A vice president in the Orioles marketing department in 1990 gave an interview and said that there had been thought to inviting Nixon back in the final Memorial Stadium season in 1991 and people were not happy about it.
On this day in history...
In 1127, during China’s Jin-Song Wars, the invading Jin dynasty captured the capital of Song, including the emperor, ending the Northern Song dynasty. Jin controlled the territory for about a century until the Mongols invaded and supplanted them.
In 1909, the explorer Ernest Shackleton planted a British flag 112 miles from the South Pole. At this point, it was the closest anyone had ever gotten to the pole.
In 1916, Allied forces finished their evacuation from the Gallipoli peninsula, ending the 10 month campaign and hopes of taking control of the Dardanelles straits from the Ottoman Empire.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 9 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Thursday.