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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Labor talks moving along at a snail’s pace

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The two sides are getting closer, but it sure is taking a while.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark answers questions about Astros sign stealing scandal Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday via Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Major League Baseball and the Players Association have increased the frequency with which they are meeting. That’s nice, and would seem to indicate that we will have a season in 2022. But the rate at which the two sides are getting closer makes it seem like it will not be a full 162-game campaign.

January is almost over. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in about two-and-a-half weeks. If they don’t report on time, that’s probably going to shift Opening Day in some way. If the delay goes even a bit longer, games will be lost.

This is exactly what MLB wants. They know the pressure won’t really be put on the players until they are missing paychecks. So of course their latest offers have been insultingly low.

Things will change, the gulf with close, and eventually we will be playing baseball again. But MLB is brazen with these offers. The raising of minimum salaries and an increase in pre-arbitration salaries is the whole ball game here. The players have been getting jobbed earlier in their careers for years.

But, as said before, there is time, and the pressure won’t truly come until games are at risk. At least there has been some slight progress this week.

Links

Dillon Tate flashes relief capabilities in first full major league season | The Baltimore Sun
There is a lot to like in Dillon Tate’s repertoire. He has top-tier stuff. He also falls into that category of reliever that can easily get out of sorts and deliver a handful of poor outings in a row. That’s how it goes for bullpen arms in baseball. The Orioles will hope they can get a bit more out of him in 2022.

Complete 2022 Hall of Fame voting results | MLB.com
I’m on record that I can’t get too animated over Hall of Fame voting, and this is why. There are various opinions about every player on this list. That’s fine, but Barry Bonds is one of the greatest players in baseball history. He was an absolute star when I was a kid, and I remember watching him chase the single season home run record and then the career home run record. Of course there are questions about his steroid use (just like every other player of the era, including David Ortiz), and there is no doubt he was a jerk. But he would be far from the worst person in the Hall. Excluding people like this while including others makes the whole process pointless.

Who’s the best guess for Orioles breakout player in 2022?
The Orioles do not have many players that could even qualify as breakout candidates. Austin Hays is a good choice. Beyond him I would look to the young pitchers that have struggled to this point. Mike Baumann is a favorite of mine, but his role is probably going to be funky and I’m not sure he starts the season in Baltimore.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday! A whole slew of former O’s were born on this day.

  • Jemile Weeks turns 35. The middle infielder played in three games for the 2014 Orioles after being acquired from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for closer Jim Johnson.
  • Rick Schu is 60. He spent the 1988 season in Baltimore as the regular third baseman, and then appeared in one game for the team in 1989 before the Detroit Tigers purchased him.
  • The late Bob Nieman (d. 1985) was born on this day in 1927. He spent four seasons in the club’s outfield from 1956 through 1960.

This weekend in O’s history

Not much has happened on this date in Orioles’ history, according to Baseball Reference. So, here are a few things that have occurred outside of Birdland.

1905 - The Cullinan, to this point the largest diamond ever discovered, is found at the Premier Mine in South Africa.

1915 - Rocky Mountain National Park, located in Colorado, is established by the U.S. Congress.

1926 - John Logie Baird demonstrates the first television.

1934 - The Apollo Theater opens in Harlem, New York City.