Good morning, Birdland!
We all remain on lockdown here, and there isn’t much baseball news to discuss. But we do have something to celebrate today.
Orioles slugger Trey Mancini turns 28 years old today! That would not normally count as a momentous birthday, but these are not normal times for any of us. Mancini had a malignant tumor removed from his colon just last week. The timetable on his return to baseball activities is unknown, but he did appear to be in good spirits in a recent video message to O’s fans. So, turning 28 feels pretty important this time around.
Just wanted to reiterate how grateful I am for everyone during this time. Looking forward to seeing you all soon. For now, stay safe and healthy! pic.twitter.com/822b4Lqf74— Trey Mancini (@TreyMancini) March 14, 2020
Mancini is extremely important to the Orioles and the Baltimore community. He is the current face of the franchise, participates in charity events and even represents the club at a foundation that seeks to keep young athletes away from performance-enhancing drugs. He just seems to be a real good dude.
Over the upcoming weekend I expect to spend an unnecessary amount of time playing the newest edition of MLB The Show in which I will inevitably start an Orioles franchise (because I love a challenge). Just about every member of the team’s current roster will be on the fictitious trading block, but I will hang out to Trey. It wouldn’t feel like the Orioles without him.
Links & Notes
Orioles podcast: Quarantine edition - The Warehouse Podcast
Shameless plug! I have a new episode of my podcast out for your consumption. It’s a weird time to talk about baseball, but we try to anyway.
Learning about the Orioles before spring training ended - Roch Kubatko
We didn’t know a whole lot about the Orioles prior to the spring being suspended. The pitching staff was bad, but their roles were unclear. But the one thing that is certain is that John Means will start the first game of the season, whenever that is.
Right-hander Zach Pop on his recovery from Tommy John surgery - Steve Melewski
Zach Pop has been on the mend for the last year since Tommy John surgery last May. If he is able to regain all of his velocity, then he could be an interesting arm in the bullpen alongside fellow hard-throwers Hunter Harvey and Tanner Scott sometime in 2021.
MLB clubs pledge $30 million for ballpark employees - MLB.com
This is a nice start, and it is certainly better than nothing. But it may be insufficient depending on how long this outbreak delays the beginning of the MLB season.
How Much Do the Playoff Odds Change in a Shorter Season? - FanGraphs
If MLB’s season does take place this year there is no way they are going to play a full 162-game slate. As this piece lays out, a shorter season allows for more randomness, which could mean worse teams perform better. But don’t worry, the Orioles are still bad enough that it likely wont matter unless the season is extremely shortened.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Trey Mancini turns 28 years old today. Every birthday is important, but this one seems to hold even more weight given his recent health scare. Happy birthday, Trey!
Former O’s catcher Craig Tatum is 37. He spent parts of two seasons in Baltimore from 2010-11, hitting .244/.305/.279 as Matt Wieters’s backup.
It is the 55th birthday of Geronimo Berroa, a MLB outfielder for 11 seasons. He spent 83 games with the Orioles during the 1997 season following a mid-season trade from the Oakland Athletics.
Happy 67th birthday to Randy Miller, an Orioles pitcher for one game in 1977.
And finally, it is the birthday of the late Dick Littlefield (b. 1926, d. 1997), who played in three games for the Orioles first season in Baltimore after the franchise moved from St. Louis.
1974 - Country singer Charley Pride plays in a spring training game for the Texas Rangers against Jim Palmer and the Orioles. Pride was a former Negro League player. The O’s beat the Rangers 14-2.
1984 - Former Orioles hitting coach Charlie Lau passes away at age 50 after losing a battle with cancer.