There are now two months and one week remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game, which is Opening Day. Whether that actually happens as scheduled is another story. Some baseball analysts seem to think that a February 1 end to the lockout might be the last day to settle things and avoid a delay to the season calendar. Others are more optimistic, thinking March 1 could still produce a March 31 start to the season after an abbreviated spring training.
Perhaps the process will move along today. The MLB players are supposed to present a counterproposal to the most recent ownership offer some time today. There hasn’t been much urgency to the talks up to this point, but it only takes one breakthrough to really get things consistently moving, and that could happen at any time. I hope that the players are able to secure a fair deal in a timely fashion.
Baseball news in general, and Orioles news in particular, will remain thin for a while as long as the lockout continues. There will, at least, still be minor league spring training and regular season baseball to look forward to regardless of what happens with the lockout. It’s just going to be tough luck for any players who’ve been added to the 40-man but not yet made their MLB debuts. They don’t get to develop as prospects or get a chance until things are resolved.
Orioles minor leaguers haven’t been idle this past weekend and they won’t be idle this week either. The team held a minicamp over the weekend for many of its top hitting prospects and will hold another this week for many of its most recently-drafted hitting prospects. There is some overlap between the groups, most notably Heston Kjerstad. It’s been a long road just to get Kjerstad into professional action. If these minicamps can help get him ready to hit the ground running when Delmarva’s season begins, that will be great news for the franchise.
One bit of baseball-related news coming this week will be tomorrow night’s announcement of which players, if any, are elected to the Hall of Fame Class of 2022. Based on the latest tally of voters who’ve chosen to be accountable about their choices prior to the results, it looks like we’re on track for only one inductee from the BBWAA voting this time around, and that one person is going to be David Ortiz. Barf.
Around the blogO’sphere
Neustrom and Dorrian getting extra looks at minicamp (School of Roch)
The weekend hitting minicamp was heavy on top hitting prospects, though some less-heralded prospects like Robert Neustrom and Patrick Dorrian are also included. The two players anticipated to stay from this minicamp to another starting tomorrow: Colton Cowser and Kjerstad.
An interview with Grayson Rodriguez, baseball’s top pitching prospect (Baltimore Baseball)
Rodriguez’s reaction to being named the top-ranked pitching prospect in MLB is, “It’s an honor, but at the same time ... you’ve got to keep working. Everybody behind you is trying to catch up to you.” I like hearing that outlook.
How might the Orioles changes at Camden Yards affect the number of home runs? (The Baltimore Sun)
The Sun took the new Camden Yards dimensions and crunched the home runs via Statcast to determine that about 35% of home runs hit in the direction of left and left-center field would not be home runs any more with the new fences.
Orioles top 50 prospects for 2022 (Prospects1500)
I don’t know how seriously it’s worth taking this outlet’s ranking. It’s something to talk about today, though! I might be more interested in the tier 5 prospects than the tier 4 ones.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2016 five-gamer pitcher Ashur Tolliver, and 1978-83 reliever Tim Stoddard. Today is Stoddard’s 69th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: wall-building emperor Hadrian (76), novelist Edith Wharton (1862), actor Ernest Borgnine (1917), gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton (1968), actress Kristen Schaal (1978), and actor Daveed Diggs (1982).
On this day in history...
In 1536, England’s Henry VIII was injured in a jousting accident. There are historians who believe this accident was at the root of erratic behavior over the final nine years of Henry’s life. At the time of the accident, he was married to Anne Boleyn (wife #2 of 6), though she was executed within four months.
In 1848, a mill construction worker named James W. Marshall discovered gold while building a sawmill near Sacramento. This was the discovery that launched the California Gold Rush, which brought 300,000 new people to the territory.
In 1972, a Japanese soldier, Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi, was discovered hiding in the jungle in Guam, where he had been since 1944’s Battle of Guam. On being returned to Japan, he said, “It is with much embarrassment that I return.”
In 1989, serial killer Ted Bundy was put to death by electric chair in Florida. Bundy confessed to committing 30 murders across seven states from 1974-1978. On death row, he said there were more he had not confessed to; there are over a dozen open murders thought to have strong resemblance to Bundy’s characteristics.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 24. Have a safe Monday.