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Thursday Bird Droppings: MLB cancels two more series; Opening Day now April 15

Orioles minor league seasons will officially be getting under way before the MLB season.

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles
The orange carpet will be rolled out at Camden Yards eventually, but no one can say when yet.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

For a second straight week, there was a day where, with an MLB-imposed looming deadline, periodic updates seemed positive about an end to MLB’s lockout of the players. Then, having gotten everyone’s hopes up, the league pulled the rug out from under everyone and instead of continuing negotiations with the players, canceled more games. A lot of the blame can be laid on the league initiating the lockout in December and then not doing any negotiating for six weeks.

Two more series have been wiped out, leaving the Orioles set to open up their season at home on April 15. If the season begins as currently scheduled, the O’s would get one home series before flying out west for seven games as part of a ten game road trip overall. Fun!

Another thing the latest canceled games mean is that the minor league seasons for each Orioles affiliate will now begin before the earliest day an MLB season might begin. Triple-A Norfolk was already ahead of MLB Opening Day with an April 5 opener. Bowie, Aberdeen, and Delmarva were going to open concurrently with MLB on April 8, but will now have at least a week of games in the books before the big leaguers get rolling.

Orioles fans, it must be said, are not getting the short end of the stick of these cancellations. All that has been removed are two weeks of games in which the team was not going to have called up Adley Rutschman yet. I will probably be happier getting two of the 13 games on my fiancee and I’s plan refunded than I would have been going to those games. I mean, come on. Our first game on our ticket package was April 2, and the starting pitcher was likely to be Jordan Lyles.

This must really suck for fans of teams who had made big expenditures to try to improve for the coming season - the Mets, most notably - who are now deprived of the chance to get a full season of seeing what happens next. It is an absolute shame what the owners are doing to the people who still manage to love the game of baseball even though the people who run its highest-level league will never, ever love them back.

As for us here in Birdland, the thing that stinks the most is guys like Kyle Bradish and DL Hall being among the locked out. Minor league seasons will begin without them, because anyone on a 40-man roster isn’t allowed to play. They still need to get time in and develop as players and they can’t. If any more games are cancelled, it’s going to throw off that big league debut for Rutschman. That will also be a bummer.

The next step for the lockout negotiation is not clear. In addition to all the other stuff there is to negotiate with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the league making the unilateral claim of two weeks of canceled games means the length of the season must also be bargained, along with related issues like how service time would be handled in a shortened season and whether players receive any back pay.

Even after the canceled game announcement on Wednesday night, talks reportedly continued between the two sides. That’s a small encouraging sign in that there wasn’t an immediate breakdown of all momentum. Whether it results in a deal being reached before there are any further cancellations of games is something only time will tell.

Around the blogO’sphere

Leftovers on Henderson, Cowser, Mayo, and other prospects (School of Roch)
With minor league position players reporting earlier in the week, a number of prospects have been made available to the media. Everyone is a big fan of everyone, and Coby Mayo sounded awesome when asked about the fence change at Camden Yards: “When I get there, I don’t think it will be much of a problem.”

Joey Ortiz on the work that led to 2021 improvement (Steve Melewski)
Ortiz, the Orioles fourth round pick in 2019, was hitting .265/.353/.449 in 35 games last season before a torn labrum ended his year. It was enough for some prospect lists to take note: He’s in the top ten in the system as ranked by The Athletic’s Keith Law.

Five takeaways from Baseball America’s top 30 Orioles prospects list (The Baltimore Sun)
Among the noted developments on the recent list (subscribers only) is the O’s have a couple of their big-ticket international signings in the teens, and six players Mike Elias traded for in the top 30.

How to rebuild in MLB: Orioles, Pirates, rangers following these steps (Fox Sports)
The way Cespedes BBQ’s Jordan Shusterman sees it, the Orioles are heading into stage five (show signs of life with your young players) of the seven-step rebuilding process. It doesn’t sound so bad when you put it that way. More than halfway there!

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2007 outfielder Tike Redman, and 1999-2000 reliever Mike Timlin.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: actor/meme Chuck Norris (1940), actor Jon Hamm (1970), rapper Timbaland (1972), gold medal gymnast Shannon Miller (1977), and singer-songwriter Carrie Underwood (1983).

On this day in history...

In 241 BC, the first of three wars waged between the Roman and Carthaginian empires came to an end after 23 years when Rome sank Carthage’s fleet in the Battle of the Aegates. The war’s end confirmed Rome as the dominant power in the Mediterranean, with Carthage forced to surrender its possession of Sicily, near which the battle took place.

In 1661 AD, the French king Louis XIV, who had already been king for 18 years, became even more king when his premier, Cardinal Mazarin, passed away. This meant Louis, now 22, was in a period of personal rule; he survived another 54 years from this point.

In 1848, the Mexican-American War came to an official end when the US Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Included in the treaty’s terms were Mexican recognition of American sovereignty over Texas, and the cession of more than 500,000 square miles of land including significant portions of four present-day states: Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah.

In 1977, three astronomers - Edward Durham, James Elliot, and Jessica Mink - discovered rings around Uranus. They observed nine rings, with the later passage of Voyager 2 revealing another pair and the Hubble Space Telescope revealing two more for a total of 13.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 10. Have a safe Thursday.