There are now 49 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. In uniform number terms, that’s, uh... Josh Lester days until Opening Day? He was the most recent wearer. Others over the years have included Jason Berken, Armando Benitez, and Tim Stoddard. Pitchers and catchers reporting to Sarasota is now less than one week away - just six days. We’re really almost there.
Are you a watcher of Abbott Elementary? It’s a good show! I give it the stamp of approval. I’m mostly asking because there was a little bit of Orioles tie-in as season 3 of the show premiered last night. Teacher Gregory Eddie, played by Tyler James Williams, has been established as an O’s fan in previous seasons and once prophesized an Adley Rutschman walkoff home run. His summer break backstory is that he worked with the O’s grounds crew while his school was out and had an incident where he got stuck under the tarp.
This provoked a mildly indignant response in my household, because as my wife immediately observed, groundskeeper Nicole Sherry would never have such shenanigans occurring on her watch. You’d have to look farther south down I-95 for a stuck-under-the-tarp side plot to be realistic. But I won’t hold it against the Abbott writers too much because it’s fun to have a main character who’s established as an Orioles fan. Maybe he’ll say something about AL Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson before the season is out.
The Orioles hit us with two bits of news over the course of Wednesday. They announced the minor league coaching staffs for the coming season, with Buck Britton continuing on as manager at Triple-A Norfolk and several other minor league managers getting promoted one rung up the ladder. This is especially great news for all the Collin Woody stans out there, as he’ll be managing Low-A Delmarva.
Later in the evening, the Orioles made a second insignificant acquisition of an infielder from the Tigers, following last month’s cash considerations trade for Tyler Nevin. It’s a similar story this time, except that we’re not personally acquainted with this player, Nick Maton, not being good. He sure isn’t good, though, as Maton has batted .208/.306/.361 across three big league seasons. That’s probably why the Tigers designated him for assignment and the O’s got him for cash during DFA limbo.
Unlike Nevin, Maton is more of a utility infielder kind of player. Things will have either gone very well for Maton or very very poorly for the Orioles if he is needed in a big league game this year. The soon-to-be-27-year-old is out of minor league options. It would be a big surprise if he’s not on waivers before the end of spring training - and no surprise at all if he was back on waivers before pitchers and catchers even report next week.
Fortunately for Orioles fans, the two big news items from last week can sustain us. There’s no reason to be grumpy about tinkering with jabronis on the fringe of the roster like Maton when we know the O’s made the big move that we wanted. Corbin Burnes is here and he will hopefully have another great season. I still can’t believe that’s real! Do you think he’ll be the guy who is making the start in 49 days? Barring a spring training injury rearing its ugly head, it’s hard for me to see why he wouldn’t be.
Around the blogO’sphere
Orioles sale discussed by MLB ownership committee; deal still expected to move quickly (The Baltimore Sun)
“Quickly” in this case means “before the start of the season” rather than what you might think, but it’s nice to hear things are still progressing.
Prospects ranking season winds down (Steve Melewski)
One more big mainstream list is still to come whenever FanGraphs unveils its top 100 prospects for the season. Steve Melewski sums up what we’ve seen through the four big ones so far.
Orioles celebrate five graduates of international high school program (Orioles.com)
This kind of thing is a great story and I hope that we get more of it as the Orioles and their internationally-signed prospects settle in to the team’s new academy. This article reports that prospect Samuel Basallo is one of several young Orioles minor leaguers who is close to completing the program.
Coca-Cola expected to take over for Pepsi at Camden Yards (The Baltimore Banner)
A development hinted by Adley Rutschman’s Big Tits on Twitter (yes, really) on Tuesday night was reported in one of the local papers on Wednesday: Coke is coming back to Camden. I am more pleased by this than my wife is.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 2008, the Orioles officially pulled off “the big one,” sending pitcher Érik Bédard to the Seattle Mariners for a five-player package. Adam Jones was the big headliner, with Chris Tillman also carving out a fine Orioles career and George Sherrill having a memorable season and a half before he was flipped elsewhere too.
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2009-11 outfielder Félix Pié, 1974 first baseman Bob Oliver, and 1955-56 outfielder Hoot Evers.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: mathematician Daniel Bernoulli (1700), author Jules Verne (1828), Periodic Table organizer Dmitri Mendeleev (1834), actor James Dean (1931), composer John Williams (1932), basketball Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning (1970), and actress Cecily Strong (1984).
On this day in history...
In 1807, Napoleon’s Grande Armée defeated a combined Russian and Prussian force in the Battle of Eylau. Although the French held the field after the Fourth Coalition allies retreated, it was Bonaparte’s most costly victory up to that point and is thought to have pierced the idea that he was unbeatable. Which still didn’t help the Fourth Coalition (or 1809’s Fifth Coalition) beat him in the war.
In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America were created. Shout out to all of my fellow former Webelos out there.
In 1960, the groundbreaking for the star-studded Hollywood Walk of Fame took place. The first actual star was set into the ground later the next month, honoring director Stanley Kramer.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 8. Have a safe Thursday.