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Christmas Eve Bird Droppings: Hoping for something special under the tree

Mike Elias has a bit more time to finish his shopping, but you don’t.

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Good morning and Merry Christmas Eve, Birdland!

For those interested in baseball news, you are actually in luck. A few noteworthy things happened on Friday, although none of them involve the Orioles:

Craig Kimbrel is joining the Phillies on a one-year, $10 million deal. The Blue Jays added outfielder Daulton Varsho from the Diamondbacks in exchange for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and catching prospect Gabriel Moreno. And the Giants agreed to two free agent contracts (pending physicals, of course) with pitcher Taylor Rogers and outfielder Michael Conforto.

Both of the Giants moves are interesting. Taylor, who was an unsigned Orioles draft pick in 2009, will now join the same bullpen as his twin brother, Tyler. That’s fun! The signing of Conforto is hilarious coming days after ownership nixed the Carlos Correa deal due to his medicals. Conforto missed all of 2022 with a shoulder injury. He is probably fine now, but Correa is probably fine too! Just some interesting juxtaposition.

But that’s all we really have today apart from the links below. No need to obsess about baseball for today, or this whole weekend really. Save that anxiety for familial interactions or perhaps your preferred NFL team. This Ravens fan is simply thrilled that we get yet another week of Tyler Huntley under center with a revolving door of over-the-hill receivers out wide.

Hopefully you all get a few days off of work or school to relax, enjoy a good meal, drink some Sprite Cranberry, snack on sugar cookies, and take a load off. You deserve it!

Happy holidays, everyone!


Here are the O’s bullpen candidates for ‘23 |
The Orioles were successful in 2022 because their bullpen was rock solid from start to finish, and it took breakout performances from several inexperienced arms. It could be asking a lot for something similar in 2023. Signing a veteran like Mychal Givens made sense. Moving someone like Tyler Wells or Austin Voth back to the ‘pen full time could also make sense.

Catching up on a few recent moves | Steve Melewski
In case you have missed the offseason up to this point, Steve gets you up to speed.

Orioles’ measured approach to team building lacks excitement | Baltimore Baseball
Well, yeah. After all, this is all meant to be entertainment, right? Like, you can pretend sports are a different category from Below Deck, or The Bachelor, or that Minecraft YouTuber your 8-year-old won’t stop watching, but it’s all the same. Let’s have fun! The moves the Orioles have made so far are fine, and I do think the team is better than a season ago, but they could be even better.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Miguel Castro is 28. The reliever spent parts of four seasons with the Orioles from 2017 through 2020, when he was dealt to the New York Mets.
  • Kevin Millwood celebrates his 48th. His lone season with the O’s was 2010, when he was the team’s Opening Day starter and proceeded to lose a league-leading 16 decisions and posted a 5.10 ERA.
  • The late Chico García (b. 1924, d. 2007) was born on this day. He had a 39-game run with the 1954 Orioles as a second baseman.

This day in O’s history

This has not been a particularly active day in Orioles history, according to Baseball Reference. But here are a few other Christmas Eve happenings from outside of Birdland:

1969 - Curt Flood, an outfielder for the Cardinals, refuses to report to the Philadelphia Phillies following a trade. The MLB PA supports Flood and offers to pay any resulting legal fees.

1974 - Lou Brock is named Sportsman of the Year by The Sporting News, beating Jimmy Connors, Johnny Miller, and Mike Marshall.

2008 - An at-bat in a Cuban Serie Nacional game takes 85 minutes due to a disagreement on the eligibility of a pitcher.

2013 - Masahiro Tanaka is officially posted by the Rakuten Golden Eagles.