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Monday Bird Droppings: Digesting an eventful Orioles weekend

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Between the new fence distance at Camden Yards and the weekend’s international signings, there’s a lot to make you think about the Orioles future.

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Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
With the deeper fences, this view of Camden Yards will look a little different this year.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now two months and two weeks remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game, which is Opening Day. Pitchers and catchers are now scheduled to report in less than one month. However, it is looking unlikely that spring training is going to start on time due to the ongoing ownership lockout of MLB players.

The past weekend brought another one of the days that will have to pass for exciting for as long as the Orioles are in rebuilding mode. The continuing O’s investment in international talent IS exciting, just not in an instant gratification kind of way, or even necessarily a near-future gratification way.

The latest class of 16-year-old amateur signings will probably not pay off at the MLB level for five years. It may not even start to have any apparent impact in any US-based minor league for two years. That’s the way it goes. To collect the benefits for players from these parts of the world in 2022, the Orioles would have had to have been signing in 2015, 2016, 2017. They weren’t. So now they’re playing catch-up.

It does seem, at least, like the Orioles have started to catch up. The O’s brought in two top 50 talents from the class, and they possibly found a slightly-older fast-mover in César Prieto, who you can learn a bit more about from one of today’s stories. They are flexing not only their dollars but their general manager’s willingness to go down and get his eyes on players to show how serious the team is. I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like when this pipeline is really working. Until then, I guess what I’ve got is the 2022 Orioles, whenever the lockout is over.

As it has been on every third Monday of January since 1986, today marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States of America. I always try to note this day with a reading of King’s famous “I have a dream” speech, of which many people seem to like to repeat one line without ruminating on the full message he conveyed on that day on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I think about this other part of his dream a lot:

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Around the blogO’sphere

International program’s contribution to the elite talent pipeline (Steve Melewski)
Melewski’s roundup of Saturday’s signing notes that coming Orioles top prospect lists could have as many as five international signings in the top 30. It’s going to be fun if these guys float to the top in the coming years.

César Prieto gives Orioles potential 2022 infield help as part of international signing class (The Baltimore Sun)
The O’s signed one slightly older prospect on Saturday - Cuban infielder Prieto, turning 23 next month. Seeing him in Baltimore in 2022 seems optimistic to me, but hey, start him in Bowie and see what happens?

Moving back left field wall could relocate free agent pitchers to Baltimore (The Athletic)
Dan Connolly sees a future where the deeper left field fence could help the Orioles with pitches for signing pitchers. I guess we’ll find out whenever the team tries to sign higher-end players.

Grayson Rodriguez also bringing value off the field (School of Roch)
They’re ultimately meaningless to fans without results on the field, but I’m still here for every “Grayson Rodriguez has great makeup” story.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

A pair of former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 2007 reliever Rob Bell, and 1964-65 catcher Dick Brown.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: early American legend Benjamin Franklin (1706), aviation pioneer Glenn L. Martin (1886), mobster Al Capone (1899), actress Betty White (1922), actress Eartha Kitt (1927), boxer Muhammad Ali (1942), former First Lady Michelle Obama (1964), and actress Zooey Deschanel (1980).

On this day in history...

In 1648, the Parliament of England passed a “Vote of No Addresses,” which marked a break in negotiations with King Charles I. This led to a new phase of the English Civil War, and within a year, Charles was beheaded.

In 1781, the American army pulled off a significant victory over a British one led by cavalry raider Banastre Tarleton in the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina. This battle put Cornwallis on the path towards Yorktown, where he ultimately surrendered.

In 1920, the Volstead Act took effect. It prohibited alcohol production, importation, transportation, and sales in accordance with power granted by the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.

In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address at the end of his second term of office, a speech known for Eisenhower’s warning against the “military-industrial complex.”

In 1991, the Gulf War kicked off with Operation Desert Storm, a bombing campaign that aimed to eliminate Iraq’s air power in order to eventually end the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.