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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are kissing their sister

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For the second time this week, the O’s game finished in a tie. I’m ready for real baseball to start, how about you?

Baltimore Orioles v Miami Marlins
This shot isn’t from yesterday’s game, but I couldn’t resist a photo taken by a guy named Mark Brown.
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

It’s practically a rite of spring. Just as surely as baseball fans get excited at the start of every spring training, they inevitably reach a point where they get tired of spring training.

When does it happen for you? Is there a certain number of games at which you reach your limit? I’ll tell you when I reach spring training fatigue: when games keep ending in ties.

I understand why there are ties, of course. There’s no point in playing extra innings for a game in which the result doesn’t matter. Especially not when managers have carefully structured plans for which pitchers they’re going to use, and for how long, in a given game. They don’t need to have curveballs thrown at them, so to speak.

Still, there’s always something a little jarring about playing a game in which your team neither wins nor loses. Nothing screams “this isn’t real baseball” quite like a tie. I’m ready for the regular season, when each game will end with an unequivocal victory or defeat. (In the Orioles’ case, usually a defeat.)

At least yesterday’s 3-3 tie included a ninth-inning O’s comeback, featuring top prospect Adley Rutschman’s first hit in 10 at-bats this spring, and a pair of RBI singles by T.J. Nichting and Austin Wynns. In true Orioles fashion, though, the O’s had the winning run at third with nobody out and couldn’t plate him, thus the unsatisfying conclusion.

Tonight, the Birds will play the first evening game of their Grapefruit League slate, taking on the Yankees at 6:35 in Tampa. It doesn’t matter whether they win or lose, just...please no ties, okay?

Links

Phillips undergoes MRI on elbow (O’s and Twins tie 3-3) - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko’s recap of the game leaves out the most important detail: he got engaged! Congratulations, Roch!

Orioles hope bullpen arms provide more relief in 2020 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
The Orioles’ bullpen was even worse than I could’ve imagined in 2019. I guess there’s nowhere to go but up, right? ...Don’t answer that.

Martin working to earn spot with bat, glove - Orioles.com
It’s been treated as a foregone conclusion that Richie Martin will start the year at Triple-A, but he’s determined to try to play his way onto the Orioles’ Opening Day roster. I would expect nothing less. But...he’s still going to start the year at Triple-A.

Rosenthal: Manny Machado welcomes the return of tough love – The Athletic
In former Oriole news, a gaggle of ex-O’s coaches are reuniting with Manny Machado in San Diego to help kick his butt into gear. I’m kind of pulling for the Padres this year, because why not?

Ex-Oriole Adam Jones hit his first home run in Japan, but no one was present due to coronavirus | NBC Sports Washington
In other ex-Oriole news, Adam Jones is starting his career in Japan by playing in front of empty stadiums. Fortunately he has experience with that sort of thing, having been part of the no-fans game in Baltimore in 2015, along with countless sparsely attended ones.

Orioles birthdays

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! It’s the 34th birthday of Jake Arrieta, whom the Orioles infamously failed to develop before he broke out as a Cy Young winner for the Cubs. Perhaps you’ve heard about him. Arrieta, coming off a mediocre 2019, is entering the final guaranteed year of a three-year, $75 million contract with the Phillies. Today is also the birthday of early-’90s O’s righty Anthony Telford (54).