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Weekend Bird Droppings: Where baseball’s return is nowhere in sight just yet

It is yet another day of rather little news on the baseball front.

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

One of the things about MLB and the MLBPA that many other professional athletes envy is the security that certain players have. If a player agrees to a major league contract with a team, more often than not that contract is fully guaranteed. Of course, there may be option years or incentive bonus and other language that can change the total value, but if you sign a one-year, $5 million then you are getting all $5 million.

The current pandemic has, obviously, postponed the start of the 2020 season, and now owners and players want to get things kicked off with a shorter schedule sometime soon. Understandably, a shorter schedule means less revenue. The owners want that lower revenue to also mean lower incomes for the players.

Blake Snell, the 2018 Cy Young winner and current Rays hurler, famously went off about this during his Twitch stream earlier this week.

The reaction to his comments has been mixed, but much of it has focused on Snell’s worry that he could get this novel coronavirus and possibly spread it to loved ones. That is, of course, a valid concern and something that baseball, at large, needs to take into full consideration prior to restarting its league.

But what about the physical risks that have been present in baseball long before we were all aware of this current sickness? There is always the chance that the next time a baseball player steps on the field could be their last. Injuries are still just as much of a concern as they would be in normal times, and yet the owners think the players should take that risk anyway, but with a much smaller safety net?

Good luck trying to spin that one. Snell is almost certainly not alone in his thinking. As a possible restart gets closer there could be even more players that make their feelings known.


Spring shutdown left players like Wynns uncertain of status - School of Roch
It will be interesting to see how MLB handles the minor league side of things if they do decide to put on a season. It’s one thing to keep track of all of the players on big league squads, which are located in urban areas with reliable medical resources. It is quite another to do for minor league teams, many of which are in towns off the beaten path. If they don’t play a minor league season, how will those not on the big league roster stay ready?

Mountcastle’s workouts, season safety discussed, plus other notes - Steve Melewski
Heading into the season, Ryan Mountcastle was one of the players I was most exicted to see. I figured he would start out in Triple-A Norfolk, but make his way to Baltimore soon enough. The likely absence of Trey Mancini for the entirety of 2020 gives the former first-rounder an even better chance of making a debut.

Which 15 Players Should The Orioles Protect In An Expansion Draft? - MLB Trade Rumors
Don’t worry, you didn’t miss any big news. MLBTR is putting together an imaginary expansion draft. As part of the exercise they need to determine which 15 players on each team’s current roster they would protect from said draft. Beyond a handful of obvious picks to keep around, it’s tough to choose which current O’s are worth protecting.

Attracting Baltimore orioles: Put a piece of orange and some jelly on your bird feeder -
Look, the baseball news is light lately. So, why not take up a new hobby? It may be the only way you actually see some Baltimore Orioles this year.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Former Orioles infielder Luis Sardinas turns 27 today. The utilityman is currently in the Nationals organization, but he played in eight games for the O’s in 2018, recording two hits in 18 at-bats.

It is the 43rd birthday of Ivanon Coffie. The infielder’s only taste of the majors came with the 2000 Orioles, where he appeared in 23 games and went 13-for-60 while splitting time between shortstop and third base.

Finally, it is a posthumous celebration for the late Dave Philley (b. 1920, d. 2012). The former outfielder was an Oriole for four seasons, from 1955-56 and then again from 1960-61. Overall, he slashed .267/.337/.384 as a Bird.

1892 - Big league teams are set to save 25% on transportation costs following a Supreme Court decision that allows the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to issue reduced rates for groups of 10 or more passengers.

1954 - The newbie Orioles draw a record crowd of 46.796 to Memorial Stadium for a double header against the Yankees. The clubs split the two games.

1984 - The O’s release 38-year-old pitcher Jim Palmer. The future Hall of Famer had struggled in five appearances so far, allowing 18 earned runs in just 17.2 innings of work. He is asked to retire and take a job within the organization, but refuses.

1999 - In a 24-hit barrage, the Orioles top the Rangers 16-5. Mike Bordick records four hits. Albert Belle goes deep twice and drives in five runs.

2017 - A pair of extra inning home runs off the bat of Chris Davis allow the Orioles to to beat the Tigers 13-11 in 13 innings. The Orioles had a 7-1 lead at one point, but blew it. Richard Bleier would earn his first career win for his performance in extras.