clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sunday Bird Droppings: Shohei Ohtani isn’t signing in the AL East after all

Friday’s silliness with the plane gave way to a massive contract announcement with the Dodgers on Saturday

Los Angeles Angels v Baltimore Orioles
Shohei Ohtani’s going to have a lot fewer opportunities to do this at Camden Yards than it seemed like on Friday.
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 109 days until Orioles Opening Day 2024.

You can breathe one sigh of relief today. Depending on how much of a baseball internet-poisoned person you are, you may not have even needed to know you should breathe this sigh of relief.

Those of us with nothing better to do with our lives were on Friday observing the saga of a private plane flight from Los Angeles to Toronto on which people, based on an observation by one random Twitter account, fixated a wish or fear that Shohei Ohtani was on this plane as part of a journey to finalize a contract with the Blue Jays.

Ohtani being a player who is unlike any other in the game, and a superstar talent even if his elbow precludes him from continuing to be a two-way player, I was not excited about the idea of him pumping up an AL East competitor of the Orioles. He ended the speculation a day after Friday’s craziness, posting on his Instagram account yesterday to tell the world he’s signing with the Dodgers. It has come out that the contract’s total value is $700 million for a ten-year deal, with a substantial amount of money deferred.

Unfortunately, Orioles fans are at a net of negative one sigh of relief since about Thursday, because anyone who breathed a sigh of relief over Thursday’s report that a Baltimore-born, DC-based billionaire might be buying the team next year has to un-breathe it. The Baltimore Banner reported that John Angelos personally called Governor Wes Moore after those reports to say the family has no plans to sell. Angelos has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be a liar throughout this year, so if you want to cling to hope that he’s lying again, I can’t stop you.

Friday also had a sigh of relief for a short period of time about a tentative lease agreement being reached, only to have this halted within hours as a key lawmaker publicly criticized it. The whole process is not going back to the drawing board, but there’s going to be some more negotiation to figure it out and unless that goes very quickly, this saga will not be resolved before the lease expires at the end of the year. Even that’s not apocalyptic, as an MSA executive recently said the authority won’t be kicking the Orioles out as soon as the lease expires and will probably just carry it month to month.

All this and the Orioles still haven’t managed to get the starting pitcher that Mike Elias acknowledged they were trying to get and it seems to me that they could really use. MASN’s Roch Kubatko signaled yesterday that the team may be pivoting away from pursuit of a top-end starting pitcher, which would seem to be the signal that we should prepare ourselves for the arrival of some jabroni rather than anyone with immediately apparent value.

Even though I knew better, I still got my hopes up at least a little bit. I’ll do it again, too. Such is the life of an Orioles fan.

Around the blogO’sphere

Kimbrel raring to be ‘part of a winner’ in Baltimore (
One thing I’m not used to yet, and I hope I have plenty of time to get used to, is players giving excited quotes about coming to the Orioles because they think this is a place they’re going to get to win.

John Angelos’s stumbles fuel fantasies of new Orioles ownership (The Baltimore Banner)
The Banner’s Kyle Goon runs through some of the reasons why people were so quick to get excited about a report that the Orioles might be sold. When you get down to it, this is a case where the devil you know is so bad that any devil you don’t know feels like an improvement.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are several former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2018 Rule 5 pick Nestor Cortes, 2018-21 catcher Austin Wynns, 2011 four-game infielder Pedro Florimón, and 1996 outfielder Luis Polonia. Today is the 12-year MLB veteran Polonia’s 60th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: mathematician Ada Lovelace (1815), poet Emily Dickinson (1830), actor/director Kenneth Branagh (1960), and musician Meg White (1974).

On this day in history...

In 1768, the first edition of Encyclopedia Britannica was published.

In 1898, the Spanish-American War came to a formal end with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, in which Cuba was ceded to the United States and the US paid Spain $20 million for the Philippines.

In 1942, the exiled Polish government circulated a report signed by its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edward Raczyński, that informed Allied governments about German efforts to exterminate the Jewish population of occupied Poland. It’s recognized today as the first official report on the Holocaust.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 10. Have a safe Sunday.