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Tuesday Bird Droppings: A week of labor negotiations has begun

MLB and the MLBPA plan to meet every day this week to talk CBA, though reportedly they didn’t make major progress yesterday.

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Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays
My wife has urged me to post more photos of MLBPA leader and handsome former Oriole Andrew Miller, so here we are.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty in MLB labor negotiations. Nearly three months into the lockout, after weeks of near radio-silence punctuated by the occasional face-to-face meeting, the league and the MLBPA are finally picking up the pace of negotiations. The two sides met at the bargaining table in Jupiter, Fla., yesterday for what’s expected to be a full week of talks.

Monday’s meeting lasted about five hours, a clear improvement over the most recent discussion last Thursday, which was barely 15 minutes long. Reportedly, though, the sides didn’t make any significant strides toward a deal. Per The Athletic’s Evan Drellich and ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, MLB altered its proposal to provide a $20 million bonus pool to pre-arbitration players, up from its previous offer of $15 million but still way far off from the MLBPA’s proposal of $115 million. The league also offered to include four teams in a new draft lottery, up from its previous proposal of three, but again short of the players’ request (eight teams).

Notably, yesterday’s session did not include any discussion of the competitive balance tax or the minimum salary, two of the biggest sticking points between the two sides. The MLBPA is expected to counter with its own proposal at today’s bargaining session. If a deal isn’t hashed out by the end of the week, it’s likely the start of the regular season will be delayed.

Now then, let’s get to today’s Camden Chat Sporcle quiz. Can you identify the Orioles who achieved these feats that have happened only once in franchise history? Happy quizzing!

Links

MLB lockout: Andrew Miller explains key issues for players union - Sports Illustrated
Former Oriole Andrew Miller, part of the MLBPA’s executive subcommittee, discusses what he wants addressed in the CBA, such as discouraging teams from deliberately tanking. Not to mention any names, of course.

A sampling of Hardy and Wieters from upcoming “Babe’s Birthday Bash” - School of Roch
J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters will be on hand at the Babe Ruth Museum on Wednesday to discuss that magical 2012 season. Has it really been 10 years already? We’re old. Every single one of us.

With Paul McCartney’s help, Oriole fans might get back to where they once belonged - BaltimoreBaseball.com
I see what you did there with the headline. Rich Dubroff hopes a successful McCartney concert will inspire visitors to come to Baltimore more often, and maybe check out some Orioles games while they’re at it.

Potential Trey Mancini trade offers from NL teams with the universal DH on the horizon – The Athletic
Dan Connolly picked the brains of fellow Athletic writers about what trade packages they’d give up for Mancini, and none particularly inspire me. Sorry, Pirates writer, but I’d want more than a 31-year-old reliever and Vanessa Hudgens’ boyfriend.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Six former Orioles were born on this day, the most prominent being the late lefty and two-time All-Star Steve Barber (b. 1938, d. 2007). The Maryland-born Barber fronted the Birds’ rotation for much of the 1960s, was a 20-game winner in 1963, and earned a World Series ring by posting a 2.30 ERA for the 1966 club.

Also born on Feb. 22 were lefties Brian Duensing (39) and John Halama (50); infielder Kelly Johnson (40); outfielder Ramon Nivar (42); and the late righty Ryne Duren (b. 1929, d. 2011), who began his 10-game MLB career by pitching one game for the Orioles in 1954 and inspired the character of Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn in the Major League films.

On this day in 2014, the Orioles made one of their best free agent signings in recent history, agreeing to a one-year, $8 million deal with veteran outfielder Nelson Cruz. Cruz had fallen into the free-agent scrap heap because of his age (33) and the fact that he served a 50-game suspension the previous season for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. But man, did he make good on that bargain-basement contract with the Orioles, erupting for a career-best 40 home runs to lead the majors and powering the Birds to their first AL East pennant in 17 years. Cruz hasn’t stopped hitting since, and has blasted 30 or more homers each year in his last seven full seasons for the Mariners, Twins, and Rays.