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Sunday Bird Droppings: Orioles pitchers and catchers now report later this week

We’ve made it to the calendar week where spring training starts. Yay!

Baltimore Orioles, 2013 Spring Training
Nate McLouth is probably not going to appear at Orioles spring training this year.
Set Number: X156157 TK1 R1 F14

Hello, friends.

There are now 46 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. That’s Mike Flanagan days until there’s baseball again. The number has not been issued to a new player since Jeremy Guthrie, who was using it when Flanagan died, left the team. Pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota later this week!

I think we’re all ready for spring training to get rolling after a few months where there was only occasional news that, in the aggregate, was disappointing. It’s about time to get moving towards real baseball and see how all of these storylines and questions that we’ve all had since the end of last season are going to work out.

One of the things we still don’t have any idea of is what spring training games will find their way onto either MASN or the Orioles Radio Network. They only bothered to televise three of the 19 games in last year’s lockout-rushed spring training. It’s an annual disappointment. Not every team’s TV network has the same lazy or cheap approach. Last week, Sportsnet, which airs Blue Jays games, announced they would televise all home spring games for Toronto with some road ones to be announced later. It’s not hard. All you have to do is do it.

There will be a number of players appearing in spring games who Orioles fans would be excited to have on video. We could see how Grayson Rodriguez looks after missing time last year. We might get to see a glimpse of non-roster camp invitee Jackson Holliday, the #1 pick in the draft last year. The previous two first rounders before him, Colton Cowser and Heston Kjerstad, have also got on the big league camp invite list.

Will MASN let us see them with Orioles-oriented broadcasters who actually know who these guys are and what their success would mean for the franchise’s future? It would be nice. I won’t be holding my breath. If their past behavior is any indication, we won’t hear anything about this this week, and whatever disappointingly-small televised schedule is announced will come out in the few days before the Grapefruit League schedule starts on February 25.

Around the blogO’sphere

Heston Kjerstad talks hitting (FanGraphs)
It’s Heston Kjerstad’s birthday today! Happy 24th to him. He spoke to FG’s David Laurila back when he was putting up solid numbers in the Arizona Fall League, which were transcribed and posted recently.

Mountcastle wants more hard-hit balls, less hard luck in ‘23 (Baltimore Baseball)
The Orioles will be helped significantly if Mountcastle’s luck turns this year, and first base will probably actually feel like it’s secured for a couple of years.

Three key storylines for Orioles spring training (
Let’s all celebrate the avoidance of the Five Things industrial complex here. The first of the three is whether Grayson Rodriguez makes the rotation. I sure hope he does.

From farm to the majors, O’s are making gains in plate discipline stats (Steve Melewski)
The Orioles leader in pitches per plate appearances was Tyler Nevin, so it’s no guarantee of success to see more pitches over time. It probably doesn’t hurt, though. Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson were next, and they also had the top two walk rates on the team. Probably not a coincidence.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2013 nine-game catcher Chris Snyder, 2007 two-gamer Adam Stern, 1978-79 reliever Don “Full Pack” Stanhouse, 1971-72 starting pitcher Pat Dobson, and 1957-60 pitcher Jerry Walker. Today is Walker’s 84th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: 16th president Abraham Lincoln (1809), five-star general Omar Bradley (1893), basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell (1934), author Judy Blume (1938), actress Christina Ricci (1980), and rapper Gucci Mane (1980).

On this day in history...

In 1733, the colony of Georgia was founded with a settlement at Savannah. This was the last of the Thirteen Colonies to come into being.

In 1912, the last emperor of China, known as the Xuantong Emperor, abdicated the throne. He was only six years old at the time, though in his adult life he was returned as a puppet during the Japanese occupation and later was imprisoned for ten years for his complicity in war crimes.

In 1924, George Gershwin debuted his now-famous Rhapsody in Blue at a concert in New York City.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 12. Have a safe Sunday.