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Monday Bird Droppings: Where spring training sure isn’t starting tomorrow

It’s Ryan McKenna’s birthday today. The lockout makes this the biggest Orioles news of the day.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Ryan McKenna is the only Oriole who’s ever had a Valentine’s Day birthday.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

This was supposed to be it. Today would have seen us get to the final 24 hour countdown heading into spring training. As of last night, the inferior sport that inexplicably garners so much attention is over with for a few months. The stage is set up perfectly for baseball to make its entrance. Alas, this will not occur. The owners acted in December to prevent it and they have not changed that since. There is no other party to blame.

Even at the best of times for a fan, you end up invested in outcomes over which you have absolutely no control. You can’t make a player drive in the tying run from third base with less than two outs. You can’t help a tiring pitcher summon the strength and skill to get out one last batter to get out of a jam. The whole lockout is that feeling but even more extreme. In this circumstance, players aren’t even allowed onto the field and there’s nothing we can do about that.

One bit of good news is that there’s probably another week and a half where if the lockout ends, the regular season can still begin on time even if spring training does not. This good news only goes so far, though, because there’s a big gap between the modest tweaks to the current system sought by the player side and the meager recognition of those goals in ownership offers. So everyone like us who cares about the outcome is stuck waiting to see what happens.

Minor league spring training will still be on schedule regardless of what happens with the lockout. Non-40-man pitchers and catchers are set to report two weeks from today. The very biggest names in the system - Adley Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez - are not immediately impacted here.

A number of 40-man prospects will be cooling their heels, though. Kyle Bradish, DL Hall, and Terrin Vavra are three of them. Others whose stars have fallen, like Rylan Bannon and Yusniel Diaz, will be robbed of the chance to change their trajectory until the lockout ends. Others impacted include a number who’ve already seen MLB debuts: Mike Baumann, Jahmai Jones, Zac Lowther, Isaac Mattson, Tyler Nevin, and Alexander Wells. This sucks. Owners, pay the players and get the hell out of the way.

Around the blogO’sphere

Kjerstad recounts his small world moment (School of Roch)
Heston Kjerstad remembers playing against recent Orioles international signing César Prieto back in 2019. They could both be Delmarva teammates in a couple of months, and hopefully teammates higher up the ladder too.

Bowie manager Kyle Moore shares thoughts on Oriole prospects, what he’s learned (Baltimore Baseball)
There aren’t any surprises among which Orioles prospects have excited Kyle Moore the most. It’s still nice to have more excitement about these guys.

Oriole of the Day: Mike Baumann’s predictable pitch mix led to up-and-down results in majors (The Baltimore Sun)
Nathan Ruiz’s daily look at a member of the Orioles 40-man roster rolls through Baumann and his four-game sample size. Spoiler: Coming up on Camden Chat’s 40-man series today is Diaz.

Post-lockout trade candidates: Impact players with a chance to move (MLBTR)
Cedric Mullins is on this list, but before giving in to another round of angst about the Orioles rebuild, consider this: “Mullins would only be available for a staggeringly strong offer.” Are teams going to make such an offer for Mullins? I have a hard time seeing it.

Sunday Notes: Colton Cowser on Coby Mayo (Fangraphs)
Included in FG’s standard Sunday roundup is a little bit of Orioles prospect on Orioles prospect chatter. Cowser proclaimed that Mayo is “kind of a monster ... he can hit the ball really hard, and he’s got a rocket for an arm.” Looking forward to seeing what Mayo can do in Aberdeen and maybe even Bowie this season.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There is one current Oriole who has a birthday today. Happy 25th to Ryan McKenna, who I still believe in as a fourth outfielder for at least a little while longer. McKenna is the lone person to ever play for the Orioles to have a Valentine’s Day birthday.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: American Gettysburg general Winfield Scott Hancock (1824), Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein (1944), magician Teller (1948), and actor Simon Pegg (1970).

On this day in history...

In 1849, President James K. Polk had his picture taken in New York City. He became the first sitting president to be photographed.

In 1859, Oregon became the 33rd state, while in 1912, Arizona became the 48th state. With Arizona’s admission, the “lower 48” continental states as we know them today were locked in.

In 1929, seven gang members were murdered in Chicago in the Valentine’s Day Massacre, with the victims lined up against a wall and shot by four masked men, including two dressed as police officers. Who carried out the massacre has never been established, with general suspects including subordinates of Al Capone, a rival of the deceased, as well as Chicago police officers.

In 1990, Voyager 1 took a photograph of Earth that has come to be known as the “Pale Blue Dot” photo.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 14. Have a safe Valentine’s Day.