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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Orioles new radio home is their old radio home

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Even as the lockout rolls on, there was some Orioles news yesterday. They’re heading back to WBAL radio for the 2022 season.

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Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Orioles game broadcasts will be returning to WBAL Radio starting this season.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

We are now two months and 25 days away from the next scheduled Orioles game, which is Opening Day. A mere month and nine days separate us from when pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Sarasota to begin spring training. Both of these things continue to assume an end to the ownership lockout of MLB players in time to avoid disruptions to the 2022 baseball calendar, which is no guarantee.

There was actually some Orioles news yesterday even amidst the lockout. You may have already heard that the O’s are moving the flagship station of their radio network back to WBAL Radio for the next six years. According to the team and station’s announcement, O’s games will be broadcast in Baltimore on WBAL’s 1090 AM, 101.5 FM, and 97.9 HD 2 stations, as well as 98 Rock at 97.9 FM.

When I was younger, the Orioles were always on WBAL, so this is a return to the natural state of affairs as far as I am concerned. The O’s on WBAL jingle - “Feel the thrill of baseball on WBAL!” - was part of my childhood and early adult years such that I will never forget it. I’m so pumped for this news that I might call up Stephen L. Miles so we can talk about it. Not everything will be the same, though, since it’s not like I can celebrate with an Esskay hot dog. Time marches on whether we like it or not.

I’m pleased to know that there will also be FM radio options. While some people find the AM band’s poorer sound quality to have retro charm, I am not in that group. When the O’s shifted to their now-former flagship of 105.7 FM, I was glad to get FM quality onto Orioles radio games. It’s not going to sound like it used to in those days in any case, because Jon Miller is way long gone and Joe Angel and Fred Manfra are more recently retired.

It seems like both AM and FM groups will be able to be satisfied with the WBAL Radio/Hearst Broadcasting properties, assuming they broadcast all or most of the games on every one of those bands. This is a nice bonus for me, too, since life has brought me to a part of Maryland that does not receive Baltimore’s 105.7 clearly but does still pick up 98 Rock, so I can still get the O’s on terrestrial radio if there are errands to be done during a game.

Maybe some time during this six year contract period, I’ll start to think of that as a blessing more than a curse. For now, I will be mighty glad when the lockout is over with and this is not the most interesting Orioles thing that there is to talk about.

Around the blogO’sphere

The more you know about Orioles pitchers (School of Roch)
When it comes to thinking about Orioles pitchers, “Ignorance is bliss” might be the operative rule. Roch nonetheless presents some random factoids about a variety of Orioles pitchers, not all of which are illustrations of guys who really sucked.

Issues relevant to the Orioles in the labor dispute (Baltimore Baseball)
Rich Dubroff runs through some of the conflict points about MLB’s next Collective Bargaining Agreement, with a particular eye for how certain changes might impact the Orioles.

Who is your breakout Orioles candidate for 2022? (The Athletic)
Dan Connolly is picking Ryan Mountcastle for a 2022 breakout, which he acknowledges is kind of cheating since Mountcastle hit 33 dingers last year. If he breaks out more than that, that would be fun. I am currently unable to talk myself into any player breaking out beyond what they’ve already shown us.

Looking to add some velocity to the pitching staff (Steve Melewski)
Steve notes that the Orioles were 20th in MLB in average velocity this past season. He thinks hard-throwing recent 40-man addition Felix Bautista could be one guy to help the O’s move up that list.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2009, the Orioles came to an agreement with Japanese free agent pitcher Koji Uehara. It didn’t work out for Uehara as a starting pitcher here, but he did eventually turn into a fine reliever who was traded for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter.

In 2017, the team traded Yovani Gallardo for Seth Smith.

There are several former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2013-18 pitcher Kevin Gausman, 2008-09 pitcher Brian Bass, 1998 reliever Norm Charlton, and 1957-58/61 reserve outfielder Lenny Green. Green passed away three years ago today, on his 86th birthday.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Hundred Years War figure Joan of Arc (1412), abolitionist senator Charles Sumner (1811), writer E. L. Doctorow (1931), and actress Kate McKinnon (1984).

On this day in history...

In 1066, Harold Godwinson was proclaimed king of England. There was a succession dispute leading to twin invasions by Harald Hardrada of Norway and William of Normandy; Harold was killed in battle against William later in the year.

In 1540, a later English monarch, Henry VIII, married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. The marriage was annulled six months and three days later. Anne survived until 1557 and was Henry’s last surviving wife at the time of her death.

In 1912, the state of New Mexico was admitted to the United States, making it the 47th state in the union.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a State of the Union address that came to be known as the Four Freedoms speech. Roosevelt articulated four freedoms he believed all people worldwide deserved to enjoy: Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 6. Have a safe Thursday.