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Opening Day Bird Droppings: Ready or not, here we go

It’s finally time. The Orioles’ 2022 season begins today. Get ready for 162 games of whatever may come.

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MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The stage is set. The game is afoot. Today, the Baltimore Orioles begin the 2022 regular season.

Here goes nothing.

This promises to be one of the most fascinating seasons of O’s baseball in recent memory. Not because they’ll be contenders, of course — by all accounts, the Orioles will be one of the worst teams in MLB yet again. FanGraphs, PECOTA, and other forecasting models all peg the O’s for anywhere from 90-100+ losses this year, as does every Camden Chat writer. There’s going to be a lot of bad, bad baseball.

But what makes this season interesting is that, if all goes right, we’ll see the seedlings of the next great Orioles team start to get planted. Adley Rutschman, the best or second-best prospect in baseball, will arrive as a potential franchise changer. Grayson Rodriguez, the best pitching prospect, should follow not long after, as should the hard-throwing D.L. Hall. Other intriguing prospects like Kyle Bradish, Kyle Stowers, and even some people not named Kyle could arrive in the bigs and contribute. The 2022 season could mark the biggest arrival of legitimate O’s prospects en masse in a long, long time.

So yes, there are going to be plenty of reasons to watch the 2022 Orioles, as long as winning games is not of particular importance to you this year. This season could mark a turning point in the course of the Orioles’ history. We here at Camden Chat will be along for the ride, for all the joy, all the frustration, all the ups and downs of a team trying to begin its transformation into something special.

Join us, won’t you? The fun all starts today.

Links

Orioles-Rays 2022 Opening Day preview - MLB.com
Here’s everything you need to know for today’s season opener, including a projected starting lineup for the Orioles against the Rays’ Shane McClanahan. It’s not the best O’s Opening Day lineup I’ve ever seen, but not the worst.

Is 2022 the year the Orioles start to get better? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
I was going to make a, “well, they couldn’t possibly get worse” joke, but...let’s face it, they totally could.

Former Mets ace Matt Harvey close to deal with Orioles: report- Yahoo Sports
Between his years of ineffectiveness on the mound and his, um, not-so-flattering admissions in court this offseason, I figured Matt Harvey was destined for retirement. One could argue that signing a minor league deal with the Orioles is an even worse fate.

Elias on roster, pitching, improvement, Matt Harvey and more - School of Roch
Mike Elias chatted with the media before the season opener on a number of topics, including Brandon Hyde, O’s prospects, and the aforementioned Matt Harvey. What, nobody asked him to predict the Orioles’ record this season?

Q&A with first-year Orioles co-hitting coaches Ryan Fuller and Matt Borgschulte – The Athletic
Remember when major league hitting coaches used to be grizzled former players who spat tobacco juice and said, “see the ball, hit the ball?” Now they’re 30-year-old brainiacs who are all, “Analytics! Data! Tracking!” Times have changed, man. (And definitely for the better. But still.)

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! A bunch of former Orioles were born on this day, the oldest being Charlie Maxwell, who had a four-game stint for the Birds in 1955 amidst a 14-year MLB career. Mr. Maxwell turns 95 years old today! A very happy birthday to him.

Also born on April 7 were pitchers Jeremy Hellickson (35), Brian Burres (41), Jeremy Guthrie (43), and the late Dick Luebke (b. 1935, d. 1974), as well as almost-Oriole Felix Hernandez (36).

On this day three years ago, Chris Davis set a dubious major league record by reaching 49 consecutive at-bats without a hit, the longest streak ever for a position player. It was one of the final ignominies of the four-year death spiral that concluded Davis’s MLB career.