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Weekend Bird Droppings: The MLB season may be in doubt for many reasons

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Disputes between the two sides and a resurgence of a historic pandemic.

2020 Major League Baseball Draft Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

By now you have already heard the reports about MLB and the MLBPA bickering over the possible start of the 2020 season. MLB wants to play 60 games with a waiver of player grievances. MLBPA wants to play 70 games.

It may turn out that none of it matters, because the novel coronavirus is picking up steam once again in the United States, specifically down in Florida, where multiple teams have reported positive coronavirus tests. That resulted in the closing of all MLB camps that were open.

While the public dispute about a season has focused on the number of games and the revenue split, what may be more important to this moment is how the league plans to handle playing in the midst of a historic pandemic.

Links

Is the DH destined to be done in both leagues? - Roch Kubatko
Yes, most likely. Look, I do kind of find watching pitchers hit sorta fun, but that’s only because 80% of the baseball I watch is of the American League variety. The numbers don’t lie. Pitchers are bad at hitting, and they shouldn’t be paid to do so apart from the rare case of Shohei Ohtani or Brendan McKay and the like.

Taking a look at the undrafted free agents - Steve Melewski
Isaiah Kearns could be an interesting player to keep an eye on. The Orioles showed that they can go outside of the traditional pipelines of college talent last year by drafting Penn State-Berks third baseman Toby Welk in the 21st round. The DIII product had an impressive debut season. Kearns played his college ball at DII Pitt-Johnstown, and could potentially be a two-way player.

The best late bloomers in MLB history - MLB.com
There isn’t a whole lot of Orioles news out there, so why not read a fun post about guys that struggled early on but turned into studs later in their careers?

The Universal Designated Hitter May Be Here to Stay - FanGraphs
FanGraphs is here to back me up on my claim that pitchers are terrible at hitting.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday this weekend? Happy birthday!

  • Tom Eshelman turns 26 this weekend. The soft-tossing righty appeared in 10 games with the Orioles last season.
  • Sendy Rleal will be 40. His only MLB action came with the 2006 O’s, when he had a 4.44 ERA over 42 outings.
  • Luis Rivera, an Orioles hurler for one game in 2000, will be 42.
  • Kevin Gregg, the towering relief pitcher, who served as the Orioles closer in 2011 and part of 2012, turns 42.
  • Utility infielder Juan Castro, who play part of the 2008 campaign with the O’s, is 48.
  • Journeyman catcher Paul Bako is 48. He spent the 2007 campaign in Baltimore.
  • Phil Huffman, an O’s pitcher for two games in 1985, is 62.
  • Rick Sutcliffe, the Orioles opening day starter in 1992 and ‘93, is 64.
  • Tony Chevez, who spent four games with the Orioles in 1977, is 67.
  • It is also the birthday of the late Andy Etchebarren (b. 1943, d. 2019), who was an Orioles backstop for 12 seasons from 1962 through 1975.
  • Finally, short-time Oriole (1955) Eddie Lopat (b. 1918, d. 1992) celebrates a posthumous birthday.

This day in history

1970 - Brooks Robinson records his 2,000th career MLB hit, a three-run homer to lead the O’s to a 5-4 win over the Washington Senators.

2000 - Eric Chavez becomes the first Athletics player to hit for the cycle since the team moved to Oakland as the A’s beat the O’s 10-3.