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Friday Bird Droppings: Where real baseball feels very far away

The players and owners remain far apart, Baltimore writers continue to grasp for topics, and more in today’s Bird Droppings.

Washington Nationals v Baltimore Orioles
J.J. Hardy isn’t in the news today, but he’ll always be in our hearts!
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Happy Friday, Camden Chatters! How many of you play or are familiar with Strat-O-Matic baseball? It’s the original nerdy baseball stats game from what I can tell. Camden Chat writer and man of my dreams, Paul Folkemer, played this game as a child with his father. When the world and baseball was shut down for COVID, he took up the hobby once again and he hasn’t slowed down.

This year’s updated Strat-O-Matic cards were just released and a package was delivered yesterday, kicking off the fake baseball season in our house. I hope it’s a good one, because it doesn’t seem like we’ll have real baseball anytime soon.

Speaking of that, the MLBPA and MLB met again yesterday and it didn’t go so well. The meeting actually ended early because so little progress was being made. That leaves just four days to come to a decision before the MLB owners decide that the season will not begin on time. Things continue to not look good, friends.

One thing from Jeff Passan yesterday is this bit about how the MLBPA is intent on making it rough on teams who are tanking. The owners, though, have little interest in that. Here is the proposal MLBPA put forth yesterday. What do you think?

And that’s just one thing the players and owners are far apart on. There is also the competitive balance tax and the pre-arbitration bonus pool, among other things. Four days just doesn’t seem like enough time. Maybe we should all start playing Strat-O-Matic.


Looking at lingering questions as spring training remains on hold - School of Roch
In which Roch poses a number of questions related to spring training, most of which don't have answers. Such is the nature of the lockout!

Oriole of the Day: Despite mostly lost season, DL Hall should push for majors in 2022 - Baltimore Sun
The latest player profile out of The Sun is for DL Hall. There are high hopes for Hall, but can he stay healthy?

Picks to Click: Who We Expect to Make the 2023 Top 100 | FanGraphs Baseball
The Orioles have been getting what feels like an inordinate amount of attention from FanGraphs, which is both fun and strange. They get some more chatter in this article that identifies Kyle Stowers, Kyle Bradish, and Carter Baumler as predictions to be added to their Top 100 next season. If you missed it, Mark gave a good rundown yesterday about what FanGraphs had to say about the current Orioles in the top 100.

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have two Orioles birthday buddies. Kevin Hickey (b. 1956, d. 2012) pitched for the Orioles from 1989-1991. He had an outstanding year in relief in the Why Not year of 1989 but could never regain the magic after. Hickey passed away at the age of 56 due to complications from diabetes.

And today is the 81st birthday of Dave Vineyard, whose entire major league career took place with the Orioles in 1964. Vineyard appeared in 19 games with a 4.17 ERA.

It’s also the birthday of talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael (b. 1935), Beatle George Harrison, (b. 1943, d. 2001), wrestling legend Ric Flair (b. 1949), hobbit Sean Astin (b. 1971), and actress Rashida Jones (b. 1976).

On this day in 1975, the Orioles traded the great Boog Powell to Cleveland. Boog had spent 14 seasons with the Orioles that included an MVP award, four All Star appearances, two world championships, and 303 home runs. He had a good 1975 for Cleveland with 27 HR and a .901 OPS, but that was his last good year.