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Friday Bird Droppings: Mediation may be on the way for MLB

MLB is reportedly seeking federal mediators to get involved in negotiations between owners and players. Whether it helps bring an end to the lockout remains to be seen.

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MLB: ALDS-Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

There was potentially big news regarding the MLB lockout yesterday. No, the owners and players didn’t have any breakthroughs in negotiations. Instead, MLB reportedly put in a request to a government agency, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, to serve as mediators in talks between the two sides.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan wrote that this could be a positive sign, as federal mediators helped resolve the 2013 NHL lockout and the 2015 MLS strike, though he cautioned that mediators didn’t help during the MLB strike in 1994, instead angering players and failing to create a pathway to a timely agreement. With current negotiations progressing at a snail’s pace and spring training scheduled to begin in two weeks, Passan believes it’s possible that a mediator “could accomplish what neither side has been able to in 10 months of negotiating.”

The Athletic’s Evan Drellich struck a much more skeptical tone, writing that the MLBPA is likely to reject the use of federal mediation because of their unpleasant previous experience in ’94, as well as their fear that outside mediators will suggest a deal that doesn’t address the players’ primary concerns.

In short, not only are the sides far apart in their negotiations, but they may also be far apart on whether to bring in someone to help with negotiations.

And so we keep waiting. And the clock keeps ticking.

Welp, why not check out today’s Camden Chat Sporcle quiz? Can you match the city names to the team names for a bunch of Orioles minor league affiliates, past and present? There are five or six you should definitely know, especially if you’re a loyal reader of Camden Chat’s minor league recaps, but you might have to do some guesswork on the affiliates from the 1950s and 1960s. (And I didn’t even include some of the more obscure affiliates.) Good luck!

Links

A normally high-traffic month for Orioles remains in slow lane - School of Roch
The transaction freeze has halted the Orioles’ annual February tradition of scooping up random, leftover free agents just before spring training. Technically Carlos Correa is a leftover free agent, so maybe he’ll be tops on the Orioles’ list once they can sign people again. Right? Maybe?

Austin Hays’ case as the next breakout Orioles is built on the end of 2021, and a lot of hope. What is each worth?
Jon Meoli takes an analytical look at Austin Hays’ hot finish to 2021 and whether it might carry into 2022. Spoiler: the change to Oriole Park’s left-field dimensions is probably not going to be kind to him.

For the Orioles’ Felipe Alou Jr., baseball is the family business - BaltimoreBaseball.com
The new Delmarva Shorebirds manager might finally be the guy to put this little-known Alou family on the baseball map.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Nobody with a Feb. 4 birthday has ever played for the Birds. Your closest thing to an Orioles birthday buddy is former O’s minor league manager Gary Allenson, who turns 67 today.

On this day in 2011, the Orioles reached agreement with veteran DH Vladimir Guerrero on a one-year, $8 million deal, seven years after he had spurned them in free agency for the Angels. Although Vlad was on his way to the Hall of Fame, he looked nothing like it in his one year in Baltimore, which ended his major league career. In 145 games, Guerrero posted an uninspiring .733 OPS and 13 home runs, both the lowest marks of his career for a full season.