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Thursday Bird Droppings: A reworked Orioles lease is once again said to be imminent

This is a story we’ve heard more than once over the course of this year

Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles
This picture reminded me of how much uglier John Angelos made this clock.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 105 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2024.

How many of those days do you think it will take for the Orioles to have a lease that actually lets them play at Camden Yards for the 2024 season? Since I bought my Opening Day tickets yesterday, it’s a bit more on my mind. The presale starting up for season ticket holders is one more reminder that it’s going to get figured out somehow.

No one anywhere in the process is acting like the Orioles might not play their games in Baltimore next year or beyond. Don’t panic about it! But this whole thing remains weird. It seems to this writer that John Angelos and his delusions of real estate fortune is at the root of a lot of what is making it all weird.

Wednesday brought another optimistic non-update to the process, as Governor Wes Moore told reporters that he is confident an Orioles lease agreement (presumably one that will stick this time) will be reached by the end of 2023. Moore said that work has continued to adjust the lease terms through the past weekend and on into this week as well. Asked specifically when he thinks the deal will get done, he said, “Imminent.” It’s a story we’ve heard before. There’s a certain Charlie Brown optimism necessary to believe it means something this time.

To all of you out there who want to cling to the idea that the Orioles may be sold at some point in 2024, as the report last week suggested, here is fodder that will stoke the fire of that hope for a little longer:

In the absence of any Orioles roster-related news other than the signing of Craig Kimbrel, this is the stuff that there is to talk about around here. They aren’t going to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto. If they’re talking to other free agents or to other teams about starting pitchers, all of that is happening without any public awareness. So instead there’s “The Orioles lease is running out in 17 days.”

Around the blogO’sphere

As the Ravens get building, the Orioles are stuck. It shows how different their priorities are. (The Baltimore Banner)
I gotta say, while I’m looking forward to the idea of the Orioles doing some renovations to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I hope they have a different vision for improvement than what the Ravens unveiled for their stadium this week.

Trying to guard against regression in the rotation in 2024 (Steve Melewski)
Melewski notes correctly that having another good starter in the rotation is more insurance against the possibility that Kyle Bradish could fall off his 2023 performance or Grayson Rodriguez might not repeat his second half performance. There are another two months or so where Mike Elias could make a significant move to do something about this.

Ryan O’Hearn looking to build on breakout year with Orioles (Press Box)
Can a 1.2 bWAR season be called a breakout year? When the guy in question was coming off of four straight negative WAR years in Kansas City, maybe. It will certainly be helpful for the 2024 team if O’Hearn can build further on this.

2024 fantasy baseball sleepers & busts: Baltimore Orioles (Pitcher List)
This fantasy baseball writer is counting Kyle Bradish, Dean Kremer, and Yennier Cano as fantasy sleepers for 2024, and Ryan O’Hearn and Jordan Westburg as fantasy busts. To those who find this information relevant, good luck.

A Q&A with O’s new director of player development (Orioles.com)
Anthony Villa was a 19th round draft pick by the White Sox in 2016 and now he’s an MLB team’s director of player development. He talked to MLB.com beat writer Jake Rill about a few topics at last week’s winter meetings.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2011, the Orioles signed Japanese pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada to a two-year contract that paid about $8 million. He never pitched for the O’s.

In 2018, the Orioles officially announced Brandon Hyde as the team’s next manager. I am going to go ahead and guess that almost no one expected five years ago that he’d still be around now. Hopefully he can make a nice dent in getting closer to .500 in 2024.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2023 infielder Adam Frazier, 2002-06 pitcher Rodrigo López, 1991 pitcher Jeff Robinson, 1964 pitcher Sam Jones, and 1956 infielder Bobby Adams.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546), 19th century admiral/earl Thomas “The Sea Wolf” Cochrane (1775), Medal of Honor-winning WWII airman Jimmy Doolittle (1896), baseball Hall of Famer Craig Biggio (1965), and actress Vanessa Hudgens (1988).

On this day in history...

In 1812, the last remaining forces of Napoleon’s Grande Armée retreated from Russia. At the start of the invasion, he commanded 450,000 men. At this retreat six months later, that was down to about 120,000.

In 1911, a five-man team led by Norwegian Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole, in the process becoming the first people to ever reach the pole.

In 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan wrapped up their scheduled moonwalks and departed the surface. 51 years later, Cernan, who was last to step back onto their craft, remains the most recent person to set foot on the moon.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 14. Have a safe Thursday.