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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles might be stuck with this starting rotation

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We are down to 69 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. Today, Wei-Yin Chen bids O's fans farewell, David Lough signs elsewhere, and some musings about who is the O's biggest rival right now.

Hello, friends.

There are now 69 days until Orioles Opening Day. There has never been an Oriole to wear the number 69, although perhaps there is some significance in the fact that the Orioles played in the World Series in 1969. Probably not, though. But it would be nice if the O's played in the World Series this year. You might say they're due to do so, if you consider the progression of 2012 ALDS loss -> 2014 ALCS loss -> 2016 World Series loss to be set in stone, which of course it isn't.

With each passing day, we must face the greater likelihood that the Orioles of right now are going to be the Orioles of this year. I have written this before and will probably write it again.

How do you feel about that? Do you like our guys? I have liked our guys in past years, though there is, of course, the glaring hole in the starting rotation. Nobody knows what will happen there. If that sucks, yikes. But is there a good answer out there? The various mainstream media sources have different answers than me about that. I say no thanks to most of them, especially to Yovani Gallardo.

I hope your street has been plowed by now. And as for us, let's plow through some links.

Around the blogO'sphere

Wei-Yin Chen thanks Orioles, fans in heartfelt messages: 'I will miss you!' - Baltimore Sun
Yes, Baltimore Sun, so heartfelt that he sent them five days after his tweet about joining the Marlins organization. Well, maybe that's not a fair thing for me to hold against him.

School of Roch: David Lough signs with Phillies (and other notes)
This is the second-greatest sign today that there is absolutely nothing going on in Birdland right now.

Steve Melewski: Ranking the Orioles' top rivals
This is the greatest sign today that there is absolutely nothing going on in Birdland right now. Melewski thinks the Yankees are the #1 rival to the Orioles right now. Do you agree? I think the landscape has shifted radically since the Orioles have started to be successful again.

This next one is not about the Orioles directly, although it does involve something that the Orioles did last year.

How the Dodgers might trade for competitive balance draft picks - True Blue LA
Over on the Dodgers blog, recently-minted BBWAA member Eric Stephen sizes up each of the teams with a tradeable draft pick and what kind of salary-eating deal the Dodgers might pull off again this year. In his paragraph on the O's, he floats the name Miguel Gonzalez. I don't see that happening, although I wouldn't say we're out of the woods yet.

And now let's move on to -- wait a minute, hold on. Do you hear that? It's my schadenfreude alert. There is an urgent development, and it's... ooh. Yes.

Nationals have to wonder: Does anyone want to play in D.C.? - Washington Nationals- ESPN
(Jabba the Hutt laughter)

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 2004, the Orioles kicked off their second adventure with Sidney Ponson, signing him to a three-year contract that went horribly awry when he started driving drunk, punching judges, and pitching terribly.

There are three former Orioles with birthdays today. There's recent ex-Oriole Jemile Weeks, more distant ex-Oriole Rick Schu (1988 O's, mostly), and the late Bob Nieman, a left fielder from 1956-59. Nieman was in the starting lineup the day my dad was born.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: General of the Army Douglas MacArthur (1880), Maria von Trapp (1905), the singer whose story inspired The Sound of Music; film critic Gene Siskel (1946), Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen (1955), comedian Ellen DeGeneres (1958), hockey legend Wayne Gretzky (1961), and reigning Tour de France green jersey winner Peter Sagan (1990).

On this day in history...

In 1564, the Council of Trent acknowledged the distinction between the Roman Catholic Church and Protestantism, namely by proclaiming the Protestant heresies, as they saw them.

In 1700, an earthquake estimated from 8.7-9.2 on the Richter scale took place in the Pacific Northwest. This spawned what's now called the Orphan Tsunami, which is how modern scientists ultimately figured out this earthquake took place.

In 1788, the British First Fleet established Sydney, the first European settlement on Australia. This event is marked by a holiday, Australia Day, which due to the funny nature of time zones will already be over before you ever read these words.

In 1924, Saint Petersburg, Russia was renamed to Leningrad, although it has since been changed back to Saint Petersburg. Make up your minds!

**

And that's the way it is in Birdland on January 26 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Tuesday, and if you haven't seen one yet, may you finally see that snow plow.