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Friday Bird Droppings: Nothing’s going to happen for a while

We’ve got several more weeks of the MLB lockout ahead of us. Hope you like minor league signings, because that’s all that’s happening.

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
The Orioles signed Anthony Bemboom to a minor league deal. That’s what passes for news these days.
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The MLB lockout slogs on, and, frankly, there’s no end in sight, considering Wednesday’s news that the owners and players won’t continue discussing key economic issues until January. The two sides seem so far apart on those contentious issues that it’s hard to foresee a quick agreement once they start talking again. So...get comfortable. We’re going to be waiting a while.

The Orioles did make a tiny bit of news yesterday with the minor league signing of catcher Anthony Bemboom, who has 54 games of big league experience with the Rays and Angels. Despite a last name that ends with “boom,” Anthony isn’t a slugger, with a career SLG of just .287 and an OPS of .528 in 144 plate appearances. Still, he’s got a chance to crack the Orioles roster — someone needs to be Adley Rutschman’s backup, after all.

In the meantime, what say you check out today’s Camden Chat Sporcle quiz? Let’s see how well you know the O’s general level of competence against their opponents. Can you figure out whether the Orioles have an all-time winning or losing record against each of the other current American League teams? (And by “Orioles” I mean beginning in 1954; none of that St. Louis Browns business.) Good luck!


Jim Callis sizes up some O’s on the farm - Steve Melewski
MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis offers his thoughts on a few O’s prospects, including Coby Mayo, who he says “might win the Orioles home run derby.” I can’t wait to watch this guy hit bombs at Camden. (Mayo, not Callis.)

A conversation with Orioles player development director Matt Blood, Part 1 – The Athletic
Matt Blood discusses one of the main skills the Orioles are trying to impart on their minor leaguers: get on base and draw walks. It seems so simple, yet it’s something the O’s have failed at for seemingly decades.

Tommy Wilson back in a team’s future plans after Orioles trade - School of Roch
In case you missed the fun fact. new O’s pitcher Tommy Wilson’s father played famed film antagonist Biff Tannen. Now some team needs to sign Michael J. Fox’s kid and we’ve got an instant rivalry on our hands.

The complicated Orioles’ legacy of Chris Davis -
You may have thought you’d never have to read about Chris Davis again after his retirement. Then a lockout halted all baseball news, so here we are.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! It’s the 36th birthday of a 2021 Oriole, left-hander and Fernando Abad, who posted a 5.60 ERA in 16 games. He’s currently a free agent. Former Orioles born on this day include 2012 three-game righty Stu Pomeranz (37), 2008 infielder Alex Cintron (43), and the late Jerry Adair (b. 1936, d. 1987), an everyday infielder for the early 1960s Birds.

Historically, the Orioles have had their troubles with injured free agent relievers on this date. First, in 1998, they signed right-hander Xavier Hernandez to a two-year, $2.7 million contract, only to later try to void the contract when he failed their physical. Hernandez filed a grievance and the O’s agreed to pay him $1.75 million. He never pitched again.

Then, on this date in 2013, the O’s agreed on a two-year, $15 million deal with veteran closer Grant Balfour. But — again! — a failed physical scuttled the deal, and a miffed Balfour signed with Tampa Bay instead. The O’s took some blowback in the media, but things turned out pretty well: Balfour struggled to a 5.00 ERA with the Rays before retiring, while Zack Britton claimed the closer’s role in Baltimore and never looked back.