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Sunday Bird Droppings: Learning more about the latest Birdland nephew

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The start of spring training is just about two months away. Then we’ll find out if Rule 5 pick Mac Sceroler can stick with the Orioles.

Orioles pitcher Ben McDonald in 1993.
Ben McDonald’s nephew is one of the Orioles Rule 5 picks this year. It’ll be fun if he’s good enough to stick around.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 109 days remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game, which happens to be Opening Day 2021. Arriving much sooner than that will be pitchers and catchers reporting to Sarasota, now set for two months and three days from today, assuming that nothing happens to change that.

Between now and then, there is probably going to be a whole lot of not much coming from the Orioles. The winter meetings have come and gone and the Orioles collected their two Rule 5 picks. They made their non-tender and they traded Jose Iglesias. The minor league shuffle is completed. If they were going to sign any significant free agents, that could start to be the focus now, but we already know that they will not.

Other teams are getting things done and signing players. The Mets, fresh with a new owner to replace the Wilpons, splashed into the free agent pool by lining up catcher James McCann on a four-year contract worth $40 million. As McCann is 30 and has a career OPS of .694, I would not be terribly excited if it was my favorite baseball team making this signing, without even getting into having Adley Rutschman in the minors. Maybe it will work out better than I think for the Mets.

The Mets even pulled off this signing before they actually hired a general manager, which also happened yesterday. I don’t really get how that works out, but I don’t know anything.

There are always free agents out there who do actually seem to be exciting and for a time turn out to be exciting. It’s just that the Orioles haven’t really signed such a player since, what, back before 2004 when they brought in Miguel Tejada? And we have already been told by Mike Elias that this winter is not the time to flip the switch to maximize wins in the coming season.

So a bunch of teams will hand out contracts that look bad and a few will get some good ones and the Orioles... will sign the Wade LeBlancs and Tommy Milones of the world to minor league contracts again.

Around the blogO’sphere

Learning more about Sceroler from his famous uncle (School of Roch)
Ben McDonald delivers the report on his nephew. One intangible about this pick is that “Sceroler” is a good Baltimore accent name.

Stallings’ first big league memory was of the Orioles - now he wants more (Baltimore Baseball)
If you haven’t heard, there is a regional connection to the Orioles with one of the pitchers they acquired for Jose Iglesias.

Orioles release 2021 giveaway schedule, featuring several planned 2020 giveaways (Baltimore Sun)
The Orioles announced a giveaway schedule last week that includes basically everything they were already going to give away this year if not for, well, you know.

Remembering last time the O’s lost two in Rule 5 draft (Steve Melewski)
A decade ago, the Orioles had Pedro Beato and Pat Egan picked in the Rule 5 draft. Beato ended up being retained by the Mets, who selected him.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2020 three-game pitcher Carson Fulmer, 1956-59 pitcher Billy Loes, and 1955 reserve infielder Hank Majewski.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Siemens founder Werner von Siemens (1816), World War I Medal of Honor winner Alvin C. York (1887), AL color barrier breaker Larry Doby (1923), actor Dick Van Dyke (1925), composer Harry Gregson-Williams (1961), actor Jamie Foxx (1967), Blink-182 co-founder Tom DeLonge (1975), and singer-songwriter Taylor Swift (1989).

On this day in history...

In 1636, three militia regiments were organized in what was then the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Today, this date is considered to be the founding of the National Guard of the United States.

In 1937, invading Japanese forces captured the Chinese city of Nanjing, after which over the next month played out the Nanjing Massacre, or Rape of Nanjing (sometimes written as Nanking), in which as many as 300,000 civilians were killed.

In 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt set out on the third and final of their mission’s scheduled moonwalks. 48 years later, they remain the most recent humans to set foot on the moon.

In 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured by coalition forces in Tikrit, Iraq.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 13. Have a safe Sunday.