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Weekend Bird Droppings: Orioles players finally report to spring training

MLB free agency still needs to ramp back up, the schedule will change in 2023, and still relishing in baseball’s return.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Something weird is going on. We are more than one full day out of the lockout, and the Orioles still haven’t signed Carlos Correa. Actually, the Orioles haven’t signed anyone, not even Jordan Lyles, a guy that they already agreed to a contract with months ago.

I only kid. In general, the flurry of free agent moves across MLB we were promised has yet to really get going. Clayton Kershaw is headed back to the Dodgers, and Carlos Rodón got a two-year deal with the Giants. Those are the “big” ones so far. It sounds like Freddie Freeman is pushing for a sixth year on the contract he eventually gets, and that could land him in Los Angeles as well.

But the talk around the two big shortstops (Correa and Trevor Story) is quiet. Correa, one would imagine, is looking for the biggest deal. That’s just what you do when you believe that you are the best at what you do. Story’s destination is likely tied to Correa. Most teams that miss out on Correa likely pivot to Story as a more affordable Plan B.

There is yet to be a traditionally reliable source to link Correa to the Orioles. That does not mean that the one guy on Twitter we are all aware of by now is wrong, but it would feel nice if literally anyone else corroborated what he is saying.

In the meantime I will be reverting back to my default setting of lowered expectations—as any REAL Orioles fan should. It will lessen the pain once Correa inevitably signs on with the Yankees for the next decade.

Links

Change is coming to the future MLB schedule | Steve Melewski
This is actually pretty massive for the Orioles. While it’s no guarantee that the division is always going to contain four pretty good adversaries at the same time, it is almost a guarantee that it will for the immediate future. Getting out of the division more often should give the Orioles a chance to rack up more wins, and having that happen in 2023 is almost perfect timing for the club.

More on new CBA and Stowers’ review of 2021 season | School of Roch
It feels like the Kyle Stowers hype train has been gaining some serious speed over the last few months. It’s not without good reason. He smacked 27 home runs last summer. But he also struck out a whole bunch, and has only about a month of Triple-A experience to this point.

O’s spring training is set to begin. Here’s what you need to know | The Baltimore Sun
I am assuming (hoping!) that there will be spring radio broadcasts this year. The serotonin dump I get from hearing baseball on the radio in March is just lovely. A couple of games on MASN would be cool too, but I’m not expecting it.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Cole Sulser turns 32. The righty had a breakout season in 2021 as he posted a 2.70 ERA over 60 games, and he could be the Orioles closer in the season to come.
  • Steve Finley is 57. His 19-season MLB career began in Baltimore, where he had a 79 OPS+ between 1989 and ‘90. He was eventually dealt to the Astros in a package to land Glenn Davis.
  • Will Clark celebrates his 58th birthday. His two seasons with the Orioles were 1999 and 2000, when he had a 129 OPS+ over 156 total games.
  • The late Ray Barker (d. 2018) was born this weekend in 1936. He played in five games for the 1960 Orioles, serving almost entirely as a pinch hitter.
  • Another posthumous birthday for Chuck Oertel (1931-2000), an outfielder with the Orioles for 14 games in 1958.

This weekend in O’s history

According to Baseball Reference, not much has happened in Orioles history this weekend. So, here are some events from outside of Birdland:

1912 - The Girl Guides (now called the Girl Scouts of the USA) are founded in the United States.

1930 - The discovery of Pluto is announced.

1933 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt conducts his first “fireside chat” with the nation.

1989 - Tim Berners-Lee submits his proposal for an information management system that would eventually become the World Wide Web.