There are now three months and 19 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2023.
A week ago, we were heading towards baseball’s winter meetings wondering whether the Orioles would do anything noteworthy during the meetings. Now we’re several days past the end of them and the realization that they weren’t going to do anything. After watching other teams shell out to sign players who they think will be a big boost to their fortunes, it’s a bummer to contemplate our favorite baseball team’s lone pickup being Rule 5 pick Andrew Politi.
The same thing is true now that was true a few days ago: The offseason isn’t over and the Orioles might still sign a notable free agent or swing a trade that would improve the outlook for the 2023 team. They just have fewer choices now, with a couple of players who seemed to be about in their price range being scratched from the list of free agents by signing elsewhere.
Along with that, we’ve also had GM Mike Elias sending signals not to expect multiple big expenditures, or maybe even one. It hasn’t exactly fueled much hype, not that this stopped the Orioles from putting home opener tickets on sale last week. Maybe some year will arrive where there’s so much demand that they don’t let people who pay for two seats on their regular plans buy up to eight Opening Day tickets. 2023 is not going to be that year.
There’s still plenty to be excited about for the 2023 Orioles! Full seasons - we hope - from Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson. The debut of Grayson Rodriguez. Félix Bautista serving as closer all year. DL Hall doing... something. (Excitement as long as you ignore his walk rate.) More prospects are coming, perhaps for midseason debuts: Colton Cowser, Joey Ortiz, Jordan Westburg, Connor Norby, and maybe even more. It would just be more exciting if I could feel like there would be a better starting rotation.
Around the blogO’sphere
The arrival of Grayson Rodriguez should be a real 2023 highlight (Steve Melewski)
If everything else stays the same, the Orioles will really be counting on a phenomenal rookie season from Rodriguez to get somewhere better than they got this year. I think he’s good enough to do it, but I wonder what kind of workload the Orioles have in mind for him coming off his injury-abbreviated season.
Pitcher Kyle Gibson on signing with Orioles: “There’s a lot to like about Baltimore” (Baltimore Baseball)
With apologies for cribbing from my own tweet, this is fun because a player’s actually had positive reasons for choosing the Orioles over another team in free agency. It will be much more fun when it’s a better player than Kyle Gibson.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
One lone former Oriole was born on this day: 1955-62 pitcher Hal Brown, no known relation. He passed away in 2015 at age 91.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: composer Hector Berlioz (1803), novelist Aleksander Solzhenitsyn (1918), actress Rita Moreno (1931), rapper Mos Def (1973), and actress Hailee Steinfeld (1996).
On this day in history...
In 1282, the Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was killed in battle against the English in the Battle of Orewin Bridge. This defeat marked the effective end of an independent Wales and the beginning of its being linked with England, so from then until now the title of Prince of Wales has gone to the heir to the English throne rather than a native Welshman.
In 1913, the painting Mona Lisa was recovered in Florence; it had been stolen from the Louvre over two years prior.
In 1941, Germany and Italy responded to the American declaration of war against Japan by declaring war against the United States of America. The US responded by also declaring war against Germany and Italy.
In 1972, the Apollo 17 mission touched down on the moon. Its lunar landing astronauts, Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, remain the most recent men to set foot on the moon. Under current NASA plans, that will finally change with the Artemis 3 mission in 2025. Artemis 1, an unmanned mission, is set to return to Earth today after a November 16 launch.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 11. Have a safe Sunday.