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Thursday Bird Droppings: Orioles pitchers and catchers begin workouts today

Orioles pitchers and catchers have reported to Sarasota, though they will not be coming soon to MASN

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Grayson Rodriguez is surely going to be one of the most watched pitchers in Orioles spring training.
Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 42 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. Give it six weeks and it’ll be here. As we all know, the number 42 has been retired across all of MLB in honor of Jackie Robinson for many years now; its most recent Orioles wearer was catcher Lenny Webster from 1997-99.

The spring training countdown is over, because pitchers and catchers reported yesterday. Their first official workout day will be today. Twitter will be swimming in photos and cell phone videos of groups of players stretching or running or throwing bullpens. You will be put to the test on how many Orioles faces and jersey numbers you recognize.

Unfortunately, for most of spring training, beat writer photos and short videos players are going to be the best chance for anyone not in Florida to go to games to see Orioles players. The team announced its spring training broadcast schedule yesterday and it’s a pretty sad lineup. Only four exhibition games will be televised on MASN, with an additional 11 receiving Orioles radio broadcasts.

That’s fewer games than they even televised four years ago, when the rebuild was in its early days and there was no excitement surrounding the team whatsoever. I don’t know why this is. I think it sucks and that Orioles fans deserve better. Regrettably, the team and network continue to show that they will not always deliver.

Last year, we experienced diminished TV broadcasts because of MASN being one of the last team TV networks that was not sending its broadcasters on the road, and on the radio side, pretty much the last team that got back to sending the crew out for road games. This was presumably some kind of pathetic cost-saving measure, though of course the few public statements about the matter never admitted to this.

I suppose the lack of spring training coverage is likewise related to money. Maybe it’s cheaper to run old poker tournaments than it is to broadcast exhibition baseball. It’s ridiculous, though. Fans would like to see the team, and especially the farther-from-MLB Orioles prospects who will appear in the early games before being reassigned to minor league camp, like Jackson Holliday and Heston Kjerstad.

We’ll just have to hope they make it long enough in camp to at least play in the first broadcast game on March 6. The O’s will be playing exhibitions starting February 25.

It sucks to have to be so negative about something involving the team as spring training gets started. Let’s try to have at least a little palate cleanser here. Which of the assorted Orioles spring storylines are you most interested in? For me, it’s Grayson Rodriguez (photo above) and wondering where and how he’ll fit into the Orioles rotation. I’m taking it for granted that he will make the Opening Day rotation, though not every Orioles writer makes this assumption. If the Orioles end up having other plans, I guess I’ll have to live with that, but I’m looking forward to seeing the ace we were promised.

Around the blogO’sphere

With rebuild in mirror, the young Orioles are ‘excited to see what we’ve got’ with eye on playoffs (The Baltimore Sun)
“The players are confident” is not a very meaningful data point. I’m excited to see what they’ve got too. Hopefully what they’ve got is good.

Projecting the Orioles Opening Day roster as pitchers and catchers report (The Athletic)
Any surprises on here for you? I think the biggest one for me would be if DL Hall is in fact sent to Triple-A Norfolk as a starter rather than ending up in the MLB bullpen.

Spring questions hover over Orioles (Baltimore Baseball)
A couple of World Baseball Classic-related questions on here, including how much the guys who made teams will end up working, and why Ramón Urías and Dillon Tate were left off of rosters they were assumed to be on.

Inside the training facility that shaped Adley Rutschman (The Baltimore Banner)
One thing that all great players seem to have in common is an unshakeable competitive nature. The training stories told by some of Rutschman’s training partners over the years here make him seem like one of those guys.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles who have birthdays today. They are: 2015 eight-game reliever Jorge Rondon, 2020 starting pitcher Tommy Milone, 2005 outfielder Eric Byrnes, and 1969-82 pinch hitter and later longtime coach Terry Crowley. Today is Crowley’s 76th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Cadillac founder Henry M. Leland (1843), trailblazing Army general Anna Mae Hays (1920), Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford (1944), actor LeVar Burton (1957), rapper/actor Ice-T (1958), tennis player John McEnroe (1959), actress Elisabeth Olsen (1989), and singer-songwriter The Weeknd (1990).

On this day in history...

In 1804, great Marylander Stephen Decatur, fighting in the First Barbary War, led a night-time raid that succeeded in burning the pirate-captured USS Philadelphia, keeping the Barbary forces from using it against the Americans.

In 1960, the submarine USS Triton set out from port in New London, Connecticut to begin Operation Sandblast, an operation whose goal was a submerged circumnavigation of the globe. Triton formally started Sandblast on February 24 and returned to its starting point on April 25.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 16. Have a safe Thursday.