There are now 32 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. The number was used most recently by Matt Harvey in 2021, and a bit less recently but more memorably by Matt Wieters, who wore it from 2010 through 2016.
As of yesterday, spring training games are under way. Things went well yesterday for the Orioles in their Grapefruit League opener as they doubled up the Twins, winning 10-5. This included not only one but two home runs hit by Heston Kjerstad, a home run by Terrin Vavra, two walks from Colton Cowser, and a double by Jackson Holliday in his first (and thus far only) big league camp at-bat. Pretty good for a first game.
Kjerstad’s three-hit performance is easily the most exciting story to come from the initial game. As with everything that happens over the next month, you have to take it all with a grain of salt. Middle inning and late inning at-bats are not being taken against the same caliber of competition as will be pitching in every regular season game. Still, it’s particularly nice to see for Kjerstad, with all he had to go through just to get back on the diamond. If he keeps it up, that will be both interesting and exciting.
The Orioles journey through spring training continues with another 1:05 game today. The team travels to take on the Tigers. As with yesterday’s opener, MASN is not bothering to televise the game. You’ll still be waiting more than a week for that to change. You will be able to find this game on the radio in Baltimore at 1090 AM, 101.5 FM, and 97.9 FM - or on MLB.tv, if that’s how you’d like to listen to it.
Soon-to-be WBC bound pitcher Dean Kremer will toss the first couple of innings for the O’s. Manager Brandon Hyde indicated after yesterday’s game that Holliday will be appearing again today. I hope that’s still going on by the time the team-owned TV network deigns to show us a game. Until then, settle for this Twitter video of Holliday:
Around the blogO’sphere
DL Hall’s shaved head shocks in Orioles spring camp (Orioles.com)
No one was expecting Hall to show up yesterday with short hair, with reliever Joey Krehbiel saying, “I’ve never seen your neck before.” Hall said on Twitter that the hair has been donated to an organization that provides wigs to cancer patients.
Kjerstad: “Definitely a good day” (School of Roch)
It’s just so nice to see Kjerstad getting to accomplish stuff after all that he’s been through. It’s only a day and it was only spring training, that can’t be said enough, but still: Good for him.
Colton Cowser ‘had never failed’ before 2022. Learning from it has him eyeing a big 2023. (The Baltimore Sun)
One of the occasionally repeated phrases about prospects in general is that you get an idea of who they are when you see how they respond to failure. There are some Cowser doubters in the world of prospect writers. It’ll certainly be nice for the Orioles and their fans if he can prove those critics wrong.
Jorge Mateo thinks new rules will lead to more stolen bases; Mazara wants to make most of opportunity (Baltimore Baseball)
During the radio broadcast of yesterday’s game, GM Mike Elias indicated that Nomar Mazara might have an inside track towards a bench spot on the roster as his presence might allow Anthony Santander to spend some time at DH.
And just for fun, here’s one more video. This one is Joey Ortiz blasting a triple yesterday that scored Kjerstad:
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There is one lone former Oriole with a birthday today. Happy 46th to Josh Towers, who had a 5.05 ERA across 29 games for the 2001 and 2002 Orioles. He went on to have an eight-year MLB career.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: playwright Christopher Marlowe (1564), author Victor Hugo (1802), blue jeans pioneer Levi Strauss (1829), Wild West figure Buffalo Bill (1846), cartoonist Tex Avery (1908), rock and roller Fats Domino (1928), musician Johnny Cash (1932), and actor Bill Duke (1943).
On this day in history...
In 1616, the Roman Catholic Church issued a formal ban on Galileo Galilei teaching his entirely accurate discovery that Earth orbits the Sun.
In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from the island of Elba, where he had been exiled the previous year. The War of the Seventh Coalition began soon after, with Napoleon’s final act of attempted conquest on the world stage lasting for one hundred days after he reached Paris and returned to power.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation creating Grand Canyon National Park. Exactly a decade later, President Calvin Coolidge signed similar legislation creating Grand Teton National Park.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 26. Have a safe Sunday.