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Thursday Bird Droppings: Three weeks until Orioles Opening Day

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Three weeks from today, the Orioles will be playing a game that counts. Hopefully the offense shows up by then!

Baltimore Orioles v Minnesota Twins
Trey Mancini’s return has just about everyone excited.
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 21 days remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game, which is Opening Day. Three weeks from today, there will be O’s baseball! Unless it rains heavily all day in Boston or something even stranger than that happens. Between now and then are 18 exhibition games to help decide who on the roster bubble makes the team. Everyone not on the bubble can use them to get into game shape.

Today’s spring training game against the Pirates will not be on either TV or radio in the Baltimore area. There are both Pirates TV and radio broadcasts expected, though, so if you can access those broadcasts through MLBtv or other means, you can tune in to watch the next Felix Hernandez outing. Enjoy this one while you can, because the next two games after today have no TV or radio coverage from either team. The rumored announcement of a few MASN broadcasts has yet to arrive.

Yesterday’s game was also a no TV, no radio game. The Orioles triumphed in seven innings over the Blue Jays, 4-3. This was a comeback victory after Keegan Akin labored to begin the game.

Akin’s day included the “pulled in the first inning but return for the second inning” maneuver; in total, he gave up two runs on three hits and three walks while retiring five batters. Four of the five outs came on strikeouts. A prior year’s Fangraphs scouting report of Akin as a pitch inefficient 4/5 starter who taxes the bullpen is looking like a good prediction. The starting rotation candidates have not covered themselves in glory in March.

A starting lineup that featured four or five expected regular season regular players mustered seven hits over the seven inning game. New shortstop Freddy Galvis led the way with three hits and prospect Tyler Nevin added another two hits.

With some quick math, you know that means a greater number of Orioles hitters went hitless. Many bats have slept through spring training so far. The wakeup did not happen on Wednesday.

It all doesn’t count until April 1, so in that sense it doesn’t matter what happens this month. This is especially true since it’s only been ten games and most players are only playing in half of the games so far. But at some point it would be nice to see some better results from players who O’s fans had some hopes to at least be passable regulars this season. It would be particularly nice to start seeing better results from players who we hope might be part of the next good Orioles team.

Around the blogO’sphere

Plans for fans at Camden Yards remain unclear after Gov. Larry Hogan’s order to allow 50% capacity (The Baltimore Sun)
The Orioles put out a statement yesterday afternoon that said they have nothing to announce at this time. Running out of time until the home opener, guys.

Elias explains alternate camp setup, Kjerstad plans (School of Roch)
The training site will be back at Bowie until minor league seasons begin. This year, it’s expected to function more as an extended AAA spring training than a prospect development place... except for Heston Kjerstad, who’s working his way back from myocarditis.

Davis to see specialist for back strain (Orioles.com)
Mike Elias hinted yesterday that Chris Davis might be in doubt for Opening Day. It’s a small number of people who will be upset by this. I am not one of them, and you probably aren’t either.

Keegan Akin on early control issues (Steve Melewski)
Akin did not offer the typical spring excuse-making about just working on stuff. He noted results matter, saying his problems were “mental” in the first inning - aiming rather than pitching.

A conversation with Angels RHP Dylan Bundy (Fangraphs)
Old friend alert. No, he doesn’t talk about the dark ages pitching development that was going on in Baltimore early in his career.

When will the the rebuild be over in Baltimore? (Eutaw Street Report)
Fellow O’s blog ESR is wondering something we’re all wondering: When will we get past this rebuild project to the Orioles just... being good? They’re feeling good about 2022. What about you?

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1991, Jim Palmer, already in the Hall of Fame at that point, had his final spring training outing in an attempted comeback at age 45. He re-retired again the next day.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2010 reliever Frank Mata, 2009 starter Rich Hill, 2005 reliever Steve Reed, and 1990 outfielder Phil Bradley.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: bandleader Lawrence Welk (1903), British Prime Minister Harold Wilson (1916), actor John Barrowman (1967), basketball coach Becky Hammon (1970), and Good Charlotte brothers Joel and Benji Madden (1979).

On this day in history...

In 1708, Britain’s Queen Anne did not grant her assent to the Scottish Militia Bill passed by Parliament. This was the most recent occasion that a British monarch has vetoed a bill.

In 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act into law, which allowed American war supplies to be sent to the Allies.

In 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Sendai, Japan. An ensuing tsunami killed over 15,000 people. More than 150,000 people were displaced by having to evacuate a 20km radius around the Fukushima nuclear plant alone.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 11. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!