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Monday Bird Droppings: Counting down to spring training

Time it ticking down. Will the Orioles make a move?

Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners
An Adley hug to get you through a cold winter day
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! Another week with no movement from the Orioles has passed. I am dying for spring training to begin just so we can finally have something to talk about.

The football season is winding to a close. The Chiefs defeated the Bills last night and will travel to Baltimore next week for the AFC Championship game. The Super Bowl is February 11th and when it comes to an end, baseball will take the stage once again. Orioles’ pitchers and catchers report on February 15th, which is 25 days away.

Will the Orioles add another player to the roster before then? Your guess is as good as mine. They’re a good team even if they don’t add anyone else, but it does feel like it might not be enough. It’s been said hundreds of times but it’s just frustrating to watch a team do so unexpectedly well in the season and not follow up with a decisive move to try and put them over the top. We’ll see what happens.

66 days to go until Opening Day.

Links

Mike Elias discusses Orioles' starting pitching needs - MLB.com
Don't worry, y'all, Mike Elias is still interested in adding pitching.

This, that and the other - MASN Sports
Every week in the offseason I say a thank you to Roch Kubatko for putting out a story every single day. The man is a machine. Here he does a roundup of what’s going on (or not going on) with the Orioles with his classic headline.

Report: INF Rougned Odor signs with Japan’s Yomiuri Giants – 810 The Spread
Per this report, Rougned Odor is headed to Japan. How is he still just 29 years old?

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four Orioles birthday buddies. Today is the 83rd birthday of Dave Leonhard, who pitched for the Orioles from 1967-72. Mostly a relief pitcher, he never appeared in more than 37 games in a season.

It caught my eye that Mr. Leonhard attended both Washington College and Johns Hopkins, so I checked out his bio on SABR.org. He played baseball for both schools but wasn’t a standout, and after he graduated he became a high school teacher at Sparrows Point High School. Then the following happened, pulled from his SABR bio:

A gift from his mother changed his life. “For Christmas in 1962 my mom gave me a pair of baseball shoes for a present,” Leonhard said. The shoes didn’t quite fit, so he went to exchange them at a sporting goods store in downtown Baltimore. There he ran into Walter Youse, a Baltimore Orioles scout who had seen him pitch the previous summer for Lady of Fatima, a church league team. Youse, who had coached an opposing team, was impressed with Leonhard and offered the 145-pound pitcher a contract on the spot.

He turned that into six seasons as a major-league pitcher. Pretty incredible. What a story!

Also celebrating today is Ubaldo Jiménez (40). Jiménez pitched for the Orioles from 2014-17 and was the winning pitcher on September 16, 2014 when the Orioles clinched the AL East. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Other Orioles born on this date are Aaron Rakers (47) and Bobby Young (b. 1925, d. 1985).

On this day in history, the Orioles:

  • Signed catcher and nephew of Rick Dempsey, Gregg Zaun (2008)
  • Traded Jorge Julio and John Maine to the Mets for Kris Benson (2006)
  • Signed Scott Kamieniecki to a minor-league contract. He went on to be a key part of the 1997 team and was re-signed for two more years after that (1997)
  • Signed pitcher Dave Schmidt, who would play for three seasons in Baltimore (1987)