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Friday Bird Droppings: The O’s put on a show in their 2022 TV debut

In their first MASN-televised spring game, the Orioles blasted three home runs in an 8-5 win over the Red Sox.

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MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles
Ryan Mountcastle’s mammoth dinger was among the Birds’ Thursday highlights.
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

For the first time in more than five months, Orioles fans were able to watch their club on a MASN broadcast last night, the first of only three spring training games that the team-owned network will air.

Happily, the O’s made it a good one. Featuring a starting lineup that looked very Opening Day-ish, the Birds busted out the bats early and often, pounding three home runs — by Ryan Mountcastle, Ramón Urías, and my daughter’s favorite player, Ryan McKenna — and seeing nine different batters contribute a hit in their 8-5 win over Boston. Orioles fans also got their first look at #3 prospect Gunnar Henderson, though he struck out in both his at-bats.

On the mound, Zac Lowther, a candidate for a rotation spot, worked two scoreless innings, and Paul Fry, attempting to come back from a brutal second-half collapse last season, struck out the side in an impressive sixth inning. It should be noted that the Red Sox didn’t exactly bring their A lineup — only one projected starter, Kiké Hernández, made the trip to Sarasota — but it’s nice to see a few O’s pitchers put up a good performance from time to time.

If that glimpse of the Orioles got you excited to see more, well, you’ll have to wait a bit. The next scheduled MASN broadcast isn’t for another five days. If you have MLB.tv, though, you can watch the Orioles at 1:00 this afternoon on the Rays’ television broadcast. Newly signed veteran starter Jordan Lyles will make his O’s debut.

Links

Connolly: Mike Elias will trade Trey Mancini within weeks or months; he’d better be ready for heavy backlash – The Athletic
The Orioles are seemingly nickel-and-diming and likely soon to trade their most popular and inspiring player, and Dan Connolly is not particularly enthused about that. He’s not alone.

Orioles’ Means disappointed about arbitration; Bruised hand for Stewart; DL Hall will get some work - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Speaking of nickel-and-diming, the Orioles are doing the same with their best pitcher, going to arbitration with John Means over a mere $400,000. I know they’ve got their reasons, but it’s not the best look.

Orioles competitions getting cranked as camp continues (O’s win 8-5) - School of Roch
If Lowther and Bruce Zimmermann are competing for one rotation spot, yesterday was definitely better for the former than the latter, who coughed up two homers. But let’s be honest, there’s room for both in this threadbare O’s rotation.

The four Orioles spring training nuggets that fascinated me the most this week - Maximizing Playoff Odds
Jon Meoli has thoughts on some spring happenings so far, including the unfortunate fact that we’ve been deprived of watching Adley Rutschman put on a show. But at least we’ve got Mark Trumbo in camp, so that’s basically just as exciting, right?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! The only player in O’s history with a March 25 birthday is the late Woodie Held (b. 1932, d. 2009), a utility man on the 1966-67 Orioles.

On this day in 1999, iconic O’s coach and manager Cal Ripken Sr., who helped bring “The Oriole Way” to the organization, passed away at the age of 63. The elder Ripken spent an incredible 36 years in the organization, starting as a minor league player in 1957 and then a minor league manager, O’s bullpen coach and third base coach, and skipper from 1987-88, when he managed his two sons, Cal Jr. and Billy.