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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where baseball won’t be back for months

We already knew the 2020 season would be starting at least two weeks late. Yesterday, the news got four times worse.

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MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Welp. I hope you weren’t planning on seeing baseball anytime soon. Because it’s going to be a long, long time before MLB can even entertain the idea of the 2020 season getting underway.

Having already delayed Opening Day by two weeks in light of the coronavirus pandemic, MLB announced yesterday that it will now wait at least eight weeks before allowing players back on the field. The decision comes in response to the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendation that “events of more than 50 people” should be restricted for at least an eight-week span.

Eight weeks! That’s going to feel like an eternity, especially after teams were in full swing at spring training and whetted our appetite for the season to come. And even if we consider the most optimistic scenario, that COVID-19 will be well enough contained in exactly eight weeks for large gatherings to begin again, it’s not as if the regular season can start immediately at that point. Players will still need to get back into game shape and play another couple of weeks of spring training — or some kind of training, anyway — before they’re ready to turn the lights on for real.

Eight weeks from today is May 12. Let’s say we add two and a half weeks of spring training from there. That would push Opening Day to the last weekend of May. And that’s if everything goes right. That’s an awful long time to wait for baseball, and it’ll be a disconcertingly short season.

Obviously, none of that really matters in the grand scheme of things. Baseball is just a game, and there are much more pressing issues at hand as the coronavirus continues to spread exponentially and the death toll rises. The No. 1 priority is to do anything we can to slow the spread, which right now means holing up indoors and social distancing whenever possible.

Still, it would be nice if we had some baseball to watch while we were doing that, huh?


What happens next for the Orioles? -
Rich Dubroff gives an update on the Orioles and MLB’s situation, and speculates that the postseason could be pushed back to November and held in “warm-weather or domed stadiums.” I wouldn’t hate that, speaking as someone whose team definitely won’t be in the postseason.

Williams exhibiting patience again while in holding pattern - School of Roch
I’ve been curious about how the O’s beat writers would come up with topics during this extended hiatus. Hopefully they stockpiled enough quotes during the Birds’ brief spring training to deploy at various intervals, as Kubatko did here with Mason Williams.

Keith Law’s Top 30 prospects for the 2020 MLB Draft – The Athletic
Who even knows when the 2020 draft will happen, or how teams can evaluate players after such truncated college and amateur seasons, but the O’s have the second pick regardless. Keith Law rates Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson and Vanderbilt outfielder Austin Martin as his top two draft prospects.

‘Arranged marriage’ gone awry: inside the Orioles-Nationals unprecedented fight – The Athletic
If you still don’t quite understand the particulars of the Orioles-Nationals MASN lawsuit — and I sure don’t — Dan Connolly and Brittany Ghiroli break down the key points here. You know, there’s been so much going on in baseball lately that I’d almost forgotten to grumble about the Nats.

Orioles birthdays

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Normally having a birthday on St. Patrick’s Day could lead to a night on the town full of drunken hijinks, but with bars and restaurants rightfully being closed, you’ll just have to move said hijinks to your own home.

Join me in wishing a happy 34th birthday to Chris Davis, who is really drawing the short straw during this whole baseball-postponement thing. He came to spring training like a man on a mission and tore the cover off the ball during exhibition season, finally showing that confidence and swagger at the plate we haven’t seen from him in years. And now he has to just sit and wait for weeks and weeks, and who knows whether he’ll still have that momentum whenever baseball resumes. Nothing has gone his way recently. But happy birthday all the same.

It’s also the birthday of 2006 O’s backup catcher Raul Chavez (47) and, in the non-Oriole edition, my older brother down in Ecuador. Stay safe, Phil!