There are now 53 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. In uniform number terms, that’s Zack Britton days to go until real baseball is back. The number 53 is currently worn by Mike Baumann, who is a bit less interesting of a 53. However, more fun is that we’re down to just ten days until pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota to begin spring training.
Normally, I’m not very excited for the start of spring training. I think it’s pretty boring. There’s two days where it’s novel to see all of the pictures of workouts and videos of bullpen sessions and then I’m impatient for the season to start because nothing interesting will happen for six weeks. Only bad things can happen in spring training!
Maybe I would feel differently if we had the opportunity to watch more games, but MASN doesn’t bother to televise the vast majority of spring games. If we’re lucky, this is something that will change once David Rubenstein’s group takes over the reins. We’re probably stuck for this year. If you want to see new Oriole Corbin Burnes before March 28, or Jackson Holliday, or anyone else who interests you, you’ll be mostly out of luck.
At least it’s a bit more exciting this year. Coming off of last year’s 101 wins, with the addition of Burnes to the starting rotation, I’m ready for any intermediate stage on the way to the return of baseball. Spring training nothing is still better than offseason nothing. They do come on the radio a bit more often.
It’s a running gag in my household that I always need to demonstrate “Constant vigilance!” - as exhorted by Harry Potter’s Mad-Eye Moody - just in case Mike Elias does something. That’s the usual joke, but with the ownership news in the last week plus the big pitching trade happening, I think I’m safe for roster movement for a little while. Now he’s really lulled me into feeling safe, I guess if there was ever a time for a surprise Jordan Montgomery signing, this would be it. But I really can’t imagine that, even more than I already couldn’t imagine the big trade for the ace happening.
Around the blogO’sphere
In deal for Corbin Burnes, Orioles hope for echoes of Houston’s Verlander trade in 2017 (The Baltimore Banner)
The Astros acquiring Justin Verlander late in the 2017 season was a last signal they were really serious about winning a title. Verlander pitched great in that postseason and Houston won it all. Let’s hope the Orioles can get Burnes in that position and he can make a difference too.
More with Elias and the ace pitcher he traded for to lead the rotation (Steve Melewski)
Both the general manager and Burnes spoke to Orioles media on Friday. Everybody’s saying good things, which isn’t news but is still fun if you ask me.
Execs react to Burnes stunner: ‘Scary’ (MLB.com)
“I wish he had stayed in the NL,” one AL exec said. That’s the pure, uncut hype stuff right there.
MLB’s approval process for Orioles sale to David Rubenstein is moving rapidly (The Baltimore Sun)
The Sun’s Jeff Barker predicts that the sale could be formally completed in about six weeks. It would be fun to have the Angelos era of control of the franchise officially done with before the regular season begins.
2024 MLB farm system rankings (Baseball America)
Amazingly, the Orioles are still #1 here even after dealing Joey Ortiz - and the Brewers are now #2.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Of all the players to ever play for the Orioles, not a single one has a birthday today.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! You may not have any Orioles birthday buddies, but you do have these: self-proclaimed emperor Norton I (1818), piloting pioneer Charles Lindbergh (1902), civil rights activist Rosa Parks (1913), musician Alice Cooper (1948), and comedian Hannibal Buress (1983).
On this day in history...
In 960, a general named Zhao Kuangyin declared that he was now Emperor Taizu, toppling the Later Zhou dynasty that had reigned for a mere nine years, and initiating his own Song dynasty, which held the throne of China for over 300 years.
In 1789, the Electoral College met for the first time, unanimously choosing George Washington as the first President of the United States.
In 1945, the “Big Three” Allied leaders, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin, began a week-long conference at Yalta to discuss a variety of post-war issues. Assorted commitments made by Stalin specifically about the independence of Poland were ultimately not kept after the war.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 4. Have a safe Sunday.