There are now 63 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This uniform number was in use in the 2022 season by six-game reliever Rico Garcia. No good Oriole has ever worn it. Nine more weeks to go and then we’ll see what the team has to offer this year.
Today and tomorrow, plus Saturday if you’re really feeling generous to him, are remaining for John Angelos to live up to the “next week” vow to provide some kind of transparency to the Orioles reporters who he oafishly batted away during last week’s news conference about the team’s donation to fund college scholarships for Baltimore students.
Probably no one is expecting the elder of the Angelos sons to live up to having made this promise. It is something of a mystery why he did so in the middle of blustering. Had he said nothing of this sort, no one would particularly expect him to be transparent about the state of the Orioles finances in particular. Instead, here we are. Having something else to talk about would be nice and instead it’s bad Angelos press and ongoing Angelos family lawsuit drama.
Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in 20 days. If there’s a move to be made between now and then, well, there you have the timing. Not that the start of spring training means no more trades can be made. We need only look to last year to remember that it was within a week of Opening Day that the Orioles shook up the bullpen by trading Tanner Scott and Cole Sulser to the Marlins.
Oft-mentioned Michael Wacha remains unsigned. Do you think the Orioles are in contact with him? Do you want them to be? The Orioles rotation could certainly use a guy who had a 3.32 ERA last season, though his FIP was higher at 4.14 and he only made 23 starts. That might not be the guy who’s worth breaking the Mike Elias streak of “no multi-year deals.”
Around the blogO’sphere
This is what we want to ask Orioles CEO John Angelos (The Baltimore Banner)
Beat writer Andy Kostka’s list of eight questions in the unlikely event that Angelos fulfills his promise to be available to press about the Orioles this week includes inquiring about the state of negotiating a new lease for Camden Yards, the contract status of Mike Elias, and the possibility of a settlement of the MASN lawsuit.
I think we’d all like to hear the answers to these questions, which is probably why Angelos won’t follow through on having a situation where he can be asked them.
On O’s hopes for Grayson Rodriguez to move from top prospect to top-of-rotation hurler (Steve Melewski)
I don’t know about you, but a significant chunk of my anxiety about the 2023 Orioles is going to melt away if Rodriguez comes out of the gate looking like the pitcher we’ve been hoping for since he established himself as a top prospect.
Will Kyle Gibson’s new sweeper be the key to his success with the Orioles in 2023? (Maximizing Playoff Odds/Substack)
A free edition of Jon Meoli’s Orioles newsletter focuses on one new addition’s use of a pitch whose trendiness is on the rise heading into this season: The sweeper. Doesn’t it just sound fun? Sweeper!
Versatility on Orioles 40-man roster creates options, and tough decisions, as offseason nears end (The Baltimore Sun)
In particular, the number of marginal starting pitchers who could also be long relief options is a large enough one that it could shake up the expected shape of the bullpen if one or two of them end up in that mix instead.
Orioles fans face long wait for next Hall of Famer (Baltimore Baseball)
I thought the next significantly Orioles-connected Hall of Famer might be Buck Showalter. That could still prove true, although his ongoing Mets tenure will push back his being considered. Among current veteran players, it’s Manny Machado or bust. With 52 bWAR already and Machado only heading into his age 30 season, the odds are decent for him. Of course, he won’t primarily be associated with the Orioles by the time he becomes a HOFer.
Cowser makes 2023 Top 10 outfield prospects list (MLB Pipeline)
These position group rankings have been trickling out over the last week or so. Pipeline likes a number of Orioles prospects, including Colton Cowser, who checks in at #10 on the list of outfielders here.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2014 three-game infielder Jemile Weeks, 1988-89 infielder Rick Schu, and 1956-59 outfielder Bob Nieman.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: five-star general Douglas MacArthur (1880), actor Paul Newman (1925), baseball broadcaster Bob Uecker (1934), guitarist Eddie Van Halen (1955), talk show host Ellen DeGeneres (1958), and hockey legend Wayne Gretzky (1961).
On this day in history...
In 1788, the settlement of Sydney was established on Australia, the first permanent European settlement on that continent. In commemoration of this founding, the day is a holiday there: Australia Day.
In 1905, what’s recognized as the largest diamond ever discovered was found in a mine in South Africa. The Cullinan diamond, named after the mine’s owner, was a 3,106.75 carat diamond. The diamond was cut in 1907; its two largest pieces have since that year been part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
In 1926, television innovator John Logie Baird made the first ever demonstration of the technology. What do you suppose he would make of his creation today?
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 26. Have a safe Thursday.