There are now 38 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. The uniform number 38 was used by both Pedro Araujo and Aaron Brooks at different times last season. There’s been a 38 every season since 2011, and some years, like last year, have had multiple 38s in a year. Non-roster player Mason Williams is wearing it in camp right now. Farther back, this was the number of John Lowenstein.
Today is the first day where the full squad will take part in a workout. Camp has already been going on for long enough that some of the pitchers and catchers got one another sick. Hopefully that is all over with soon. Position players were required to report yesterday. Manager Brandon Hyde said everyone was expected to report on time. Many had reported early and most of those who hadn’t were spotted by reporters in the Orioles clubhouse yesterday.
One player not yet seen is Chris Davis, but don’t expect any drama about that. A lot of guys will be taking a lot of grounders. Probably batting practice too. No news is good news, because the only kind of newsworthy happening today would be something bad like an injury.
It’s now less than a week until the first time there will be something resembling Orioles game action. They travel to Braves camp for their first exhibition game on Friday. The first game that will be televised in the Baltimore area comes on Saturday when the O’s have their spring home opener. It won’t look or feel much like the regular season, and they’ll be wearing those ugly hats, but it is still going to be Orioles baseball.
Around the blogO’sphere
Doug Brocail’s strong praise for John Means and Alex Cobb (Steve Melewski)
It’s not like the pitching coach is going to start out spring training by trashing the pitchers. Hopefully the praise is followed up with performance in the season to come.
Hanser Alberto wants to write another success story (Baltimore Baseball)
“I came more relaxed,” Alberto said in comparison to last offseason where he changed organizations multiple times, “but hungry to prove that I can do it again.”
Meet ‘Rutsch’: Prospect talks food, music, crush (Orioles.com)
Even getting this much of a window into a player is unusual, so enjoy it! Especially if you happen to be Eric Church, who is Adley Rutschman’s all-time favorite artist.
Núñez hoping for more opportunities to play defense (School of Roch)
Something has probably gone wrong if Núñez is getting more opportunities to play on defense, but I get why he hopes for a chance anyway.
Brandon Hyde addressed the 2019 struggles with Orioles pitchers this week. How do they plan to move forward? (Baltimore Sun)
There’s something of the Monty Python song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” in Hyde’s take that he wants pitchers who struggled last year to come in with a chip on their shoulder. Some may need bigger chips than others.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 2003, pitching prospect Steve Bechler passed away after becoming sick during the previous day’s spring training workout. The death of the 23-year-old vying for a spot on the Orioles was linked to the dietary supplement ephedrine, which the FDA banned within a year of Bechler’s death.
In 2014, two things happened which an extremely generous person summed up on Baseball Reference as: The Orioles significantly improve their pitching staff as they sign free agent Ubaldo Jimenez for four years at $50 million, as well as South Korean Suk-min Yoon to a three-year deal for $5.75 after he passes a physical exam.
The narrator voice with the correction: “They did not significantly improve their pitching staff.”
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2007 reliever Scott Williamson, 1985-87 reserve Alan Wiggins, 1987 outfielder Mike Hart, and 1964 outfielder Willie Kirkland. Today is Kirkland’s 86th birthday.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Chinese empress Wu Zetian (624), Maginot Line namesake Andre Maginot (1877), football legend Jim Brown (1936), actor Lou Diamond Phillips (1962), comedian Larry the Cable Guy (1963), movie maker Michael Bay (1965), Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong (1972), actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (1981), and singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran (1991).
On this day in history...
In 1801, the House of Representatives voted to settle an Electoral College tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. with Jefferson becoming president and Burr vice president under the rules at the time.
In 1863, some Swiss citizens in Geneva founded the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, now known today as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
In 1904, Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly premiered in Milan.
In 1980, Polish climbers Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy became the first to climb Mount Everest in the winter.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 17 - or at least, until something happens later down in Sarasota. Have a safe Monday.