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Thursday Bird Droppings: The 2022 season has arrived

Major League Baseball kicks off its regular season today. Well, except for the Orioles and 15 other teams.

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Atlanta Braves v. Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

It’s all happening. Spring training camps have wrapped up. Opening Day rosters have been set. Today, after a long, arduous, offseason, teams will finally take the field to officially kick off the 2022 season of Major League Baseball. The wait is over.

Well, unless you’re a fan of the Orioles or 15 other teams, in which case the wait will last one more day. Sorry about that.

In any case, baseball is back in action today with seven games on the docket, beginning at 2:20 PM ET with the Brewers and Cubs at Wrigley Field. That number would be nine, except two games — the Red Sox/Yankees and Mariners/Twins — have already been postponed due to inclement weather. Those four clubs will instead open their seasons on Friday along with a dozen other teams. The Orioles, who begin their season under the dome at Tropicana Field tomorrow, won’t have to worry about any weather-related postponements for their opening series.

In advance of their opener, the Orioles essentially finalized their 28-man Opening Day roster yesterday, and it is...um...definitely a collection of 28 players, all right. (If you were looking for a more generous description of that roster, I can’t help you.) That bullpen alone...woof. Of course, the roster that begins the season is likely to look far different than the roster that finishes it, so if O’s prospects begin to make their way to the majors throughout the year as planned, things could look more promising for the Birds in a few months. But the beginning of the year is probably going to be rough, folks. Strap in.

Links

Bruce Zimmermann to start Orioles’ home opener - MLB.com
We already have our first feel-good story of the Orioles’ season: a Baltimore-born pitcher starting the O’s home opener for the first time in 54 years. Best of luck to Bruce Zimmermann, who will certainly have a raucous cheering section.

Myriad Orioles Thoughts: 2022 Opening Day roster edition – The Athletic
Dan Connolly offers his thoughts on how the final roster shook out. I’m just happy that the guy with the best name on the team made the cut. Go, Anthony Bemboom!

On Mike Elias’ challenge to the Orioles’ tweener pitchers, the last source of hope that aren’t solely on his account - Maximizing Playoff Odds
The Orioles GM recently name-checked five young O’s pitchers to “step up” or be shipped out, and — as Jon Meoli took notice — none of those five guys were acquired by Elias himself.

Orioles keep 14 pitchers and 14 position players on opening day roster - School of Roch
Buried in Roch Kubatko’s post about the roster is news about several O’s minor leaguers who were released recently, including NASCAR scion Zach Jarrett and fan favorite Willy Yahn. Best of luck to all of them in whatever comes next.

Adding the finishing touches to the new left-field wall at the Yard - Steve Melewski
The new, much-talked-about left-field wall at Camden Yards is just about ready to go, and Melewski snapped some pics. You know, it’s really growing on me. And props to whoever came up with the name “Elrod's Corner” for the part of the wall that intersects the bullpen.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! It’s the birthday of the late Tom Phoebus (b. 1942, d. 2019), the Baltimore-born righty and Mt. St. Joe’s alum who spent his first five seasons with the Orioles, throwing a no-hitter in 1968. Before Zimmermann, Phoebus was the last Baltimore native to start an Orioles home opener.

Also born on April 7 were former O’s righty Ricky Bones (53) and two ex-Orioles prospects who were traded as minor leaguers and went on to successful careers elsewhere: Eduardo Rodriguez (29) and Maryland native Josh Hader (28).

The Orioles have had five Opening Days on this date in history, winning two and losing three. That included a comeback victory in Cleveland in the 1970 opener, with the O’s scoring seven runs in the final three innings, as the Birds began what turned out to be their second World Series championship season. And it was on this day in 1977 that a youngster named Eddie Murray made his major league debut, going 1-for-4 to begin his 21-season, Hall of Fame career.

On this day five years ago, the Orioles acquired righty reliever Miguel Castro, who was a decent if erratic reliever for parts of four seasons before the Birds dealt him to the Mets. Castro has just recently rejoined the AL East, getting traded to the Yankees earlier this week, so the O’s will be seeing plenty of him this year.