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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Orioles will not go winless through spring training

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DJ Stewart homered yesterday as the Orioles got their first win. So did Austin Hays, using some new “dad strength.”

Baltimore Orioles v Philadelphia Phillies
DJ Stewart homered again yesterday.
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 28 days remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game, which is Opening Day. It’s four weeks from today! Between now and then are 24 more exhibition games that will be used as tune-up games for players who are already reasonably assured of roster spots and as an audition for those who are competing for a spot either now or at some point during the season.

Today’s 1:05 game against the Red Sox will be available by radio broadcast only. Both the Orioles and Red Sox will have broadcasts of the game. Enjoy today’s broadcast if you can, because tomorrow’s game will not have any television or radio presence at all. Too bad if you’d like to watch or listen to Matt Harvey’s O’s spring debut. Friday’s game will be the first of seven O’s spring games that are not currently scheduled to have any broadcast.

Yesterday, the Orioles picked up their first win in four spring games, knocking off the Braves, 8-1, in what’s become a typical for this spring seven inning affair. Four of the five pitchers had scoreless outings, including two innings for starter Wade LeBlanc. Austin Hays had two hits, including a homer, and DJ Stewart homered again. Later in the game, Adley Rutschman got his first hit of the spring.

The Hays home run comes with the added adorable detail that this was the first game he ever played in front of his infant son. According to MLB.com’s Joe Trezza, Hays’s father ended up with the home run ball, then brought it around behind home plate where Hays’s wife and son were sitting. Hays, it seems, is a believer in “dad strength.”

Hays might need some more of that dad strength if Cedric Mullins’s transformation into a lefty-only batter goes as well as it did in his first couple of outings. Having multiple good players lined up in competition for a given position is a fine problem for a team to have, so if these players are able to keep it up as the spring games get more regular season-like throughout March, that will be a nice sign.

Stewart hitting a bunch of dingers could just add to the challenge of the crowded outfield. It’s the kind of thing that might force the Orioles to put Ryan Mountcastle in the 1B/DH mix and just get rid of Chris Davis. The once-slugger missed the last two games after suffering a lower back strain in the second at-bat of his first spring training game. Maybe Davis will be back in action today, or maybe he won’t.

Around the blogO’sphere

Altobelli, skipper of ‘83 Orioles champs, dies (Orioles.com)
The most recent World Series-winning Orioles manager passed away yesterday at age 88.

Orioles announce minor league coaching staffs (Steve Melewski)
Most everyone who was lined up to be a 2020 Orioles minor league coach is going to be a 2021 Orioles minor league coach.

Top 45 Orioles prospects for 2021 (Fangraphs)
Here is a list that is not on the Yusniel Diaz hype train. It’s also strangely, and I believe in error, missing Keegan Akin.

Observations on Adley Rutschman’s camp, Jahmai Jones’ potential, and the hot-hitting outfielders (Baltimore Sun)
Brandon Hyde had a lot of good things to say about the former #1 overall pick. It’ll be fun when the quotes are reacting to Rutschman hitting 30 home runs or something great like that.

Tyler Nevin on joining Orioles and relationship with father (School of Roch)
Here’s one more of those quotes that it is difficult to imagine ever happening in the Dan Duquette era:

When I got here they had a power point ready for me, showing me, ‘These are the things you do well, these are the things we want you to keep progressing at. And this is why we got you, why we liked you in this trade.’ So Day One, jumping in and seeing a team and why they really wanted me was a huge encouragement and got me really excited.

This season’s Orioles might be the worst in franchise history (Beyond the Box Score)
I’m known for being a pessimist about the Orioles, but I’m not nearly so pessimistic as my fellow SB Nation blogger here. I think this year’s team will be comfortably better than the 2018 Orioles were.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2017 five-game reliever Richard Rodriguez, 1996-98 reserve pitcher Nerio Rodriguez, 1959-62 pitcher Jack Fisher, and 1963-67 infielder Bob Johnson.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Revolutionary War general Casimir Pulaski (1745), Civil War general John Buford (1826), baseball Hall of Famer Dazzy Vance (1891), longtime University of Maryland men’s basketball coach Gary Williams (1945), and award-winning actor Catherine O’Hara (1954).

On this day in history...

In 1238, the Mongols under Batu Khan defeated the Vladimir-Suzdal force led by Grand Prince Yuri II in the Battle of the Sit River. This was the final act of resistance against the invasion of Mongols in modern day Russia and Ukraine, leading to two centuries of Mongol rule of the area.

In 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Portugal on board the Niña.

In 1789, the first Congress of the United States met, marking the official beginning of the Constitution being in effect.

In 1917, Jeannette Rankin of Montana was sworn in to the House of Representatives, making her the first female member of the House.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 4. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!