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Thursday Bird Droppings: Opening Day is five weeks away

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Spring training games are only days away, and then the Orioles can start to figure out who will make the Orioles.

2021 Baltimore Orioles Photo Day Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 35 days remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game, which is Opening Day. That’s only five weeks away! It’s exciting, especially as each passing day has brought more reason to believe the baseball season should be able to begin as scheduled.

The first exhibition game is only three days away. It’s expected there will be even less than the typical, already limited number of TV or radio broadcasts of spring training games, so you’ll just have to be happy with the idea that somewhere, guys in Orioles uniforms, some of whom may some day play for the regular season Orioles, will be in action soon.

This spring’s games may not even end up being scheduled to go nine innings. It’s apparently at the discretion of the managers to play as few as five innings. Brandon Hyde signaled that he’s going to be pushing to play nine every game because he’s got pitchers who need to start getting their innings. So perhaps this oddity will not affect the Orioles much. On the other hand, it’s not hard to imagine the Red Sox whining about only wanting to play five innings on a day the O’s have meticulously lined up a nine inning pitcher work day.

One way to look at spring training is that the most likely kind of news there is to be made is bad news. This is especially true in the early days of camp. No one is winning a roster spot based on how they look doing their first fielding drills, their first round of batting practice, or their first bullpen sessions. Pretty much the only thing that gets big headlines is a serious injury.

That struck Twins camp yesterday as one of their hyped prospects, Royce Lewis, has a torn ACL and will miss the entire year. Any team could wake up to similar news any day. The Orioles have avoided having prospects join that unfortunate group so far and hopefully will continue to do so. Knock on wood!

Around the blogO’sphere

Digging deeper into Matt Harvey’s offseason transformation (School of Roch)
The spring training mini-hype train for Matt Harvey hasn’t halted yet. If that thing keeps on chugging after Harvey’s pitched in a few exhibition games, that’ll be interesting.

A conversation with Orioles pitching prospect DL Hall (Fangraphs)
We’re heading into the third season of the Mike Elias era and I have to tell you that I haven’t gotten tired of all of the stories about how much smarter they are about evaluating and developing prospects now.

Jones’s move to play just baseball paying off (Orioles.com)
Jahmai Jones dropped in to Zoom with the beat reporters after yesterday’s workout, and it seems like everyone came away impressed. I’m rooting for him to make his way into the Orioles infield picture in the near future.

Barn or chicken coop? How one Orioles prospect prepared for spring training by working at California almond farms. (Baltimore Sun)
When you’ve got “Brett Cumberland worked at an almond farm” in the notebook, you better get the article done sooner rather than later, because he probably won’t stick around the roster picture for long.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1975, the Orioles made a trade that sent Boog Powell to the Indians for catcher Dave Duncan. Boog was great for Cleveland that year and Duncan stunk for the Orioles. I guess we’ll never know if the ‘75 O’s plus Boog could have made up the 4.5 game gap to first place that year.

There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1989-91 reliever Kevin Hickey, and 1964 swingman Dave Vineyard. Today is Vineyard’s 80th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841), Marx Brother Zeppo Marx (1901), baseball Hall of Famer Ron Santo (1940), and actor Sean Astin (1971).

On this day in history...

In 1870, Hiram Rhodes Revels was sworn in as a United States Senator from Mississippi. Revels became the first African American to serve in the Congress.

In 1956, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev gave a briefly secret speech entitled On the Cult of Personality and its Consequences, in which he denounced the rule of Joseph Stalin.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 25. Have a safe Thursday.