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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where at least one Oriole needs to lose weight

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One ESPN writer tells us what we already knew: that the 1969-73 Orioles were the greatest defensive team ever. Plus, a memory of Cal's 2131 homer, a former closer's brewery, and one Oriole needs to lose some weight.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 67 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This happens to be the same number as was worn by the immortal Ed Rogers in the 2005 season. Rogers, unless I'm getting my random crap-era O's mixed up, is the guy who once lost a live baseball inside of his jersey, which is the kind of thing that really seems like it would take some work to accomplish, so let's salute a guy for that kind of dedication to his craft.

This is probably the worst part of the offseason. Everything that's going to happen has happened, and yet there's still a seemingly-interminable number of days remaining until pitchers and catchers report to spring training... and once they get there, the annual reminder (for those who need it) that spring training actually sucks and is one of the most boring things imaginable.

Who is even left out there? I can't stress enough that I don't want to see the O's sign Yovani Gallardo. Maybe Dexter Fowler, if his price drops? I could talk myself into that one if it happened, probably. But I also don't think it will happen. Let's rip through some links.

Around the blogO'sphere

Homer History: Cal Ripken Jr. wowed us yet again on Iron Man night | Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports
Yahoo has been having some various baseball media personalities write about big home runs that meant something to them. Here's MLB Network's Lauren Shehadi with a memory from the 2,131 night.

An interview with Chris Ray: former MLB player, current Brewery owner | Brew and Orange
You maybe knew already that Chris Ray, who was once (unfortunately for us) traded for Kevin Millwood, is now into brewing beer. The folks on the Brew and Orange blog had a chat with him.

School of Roch: More on L.J. Hoes and Kevin Gausman's third pitch
The funniest part of this article, for me, is that the amount of time Dan Duquette has to spare for Roch Kubatko is encompassed in one text message.

Efren Navarro's defense could land him on Orioles roster; Hyun-soo Kim arrives in U.S. - Baltimore Sun
Eduardo Encina draws the unenviable task of having to write about why the latest of Duquette's fringe roster moves may actually matter. Also, it turns out Hyun Soo Kim needs to shed a little weight - which, to Roch's credit, he wrote about two days ago.

The best defensive teams of all time - SweetSpot- ESPN
Spoiler: It's the 1969-73 Orioles. I would have liked to have seen them. I'll have to settle for my dad's stories instead.

How the mighty have fallen: A look at the worst position players of 2015 - Beyond the Box Score
Incredibly, no Orioles outfielders made it onto this list, although that's probably because they were quick to DFA everyone who sucked, rather than feeling chained to any one unproductive player.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Of all of the players to ever suit up for the O's, only one has a birthday today. That's recent ex-Oriole Wesley Wright, who turns 31.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include Wars of the Roses victor and Tudor progenitor King Henry VII (1509), explorer Henry Morton Stanley (1841), of "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" fame; painter Jackson Pollock (1912), M*A*S*H actor Alan Alda (1936), singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan (1968), *NSYNC dude Joey Fatone (1977) and Backstreet Boys dude Nick Carter (1980), and Frodo Baggins portrayer Elijah Wood (1981).

On this day in history...

In 814, our supposed common ancestor Charlemagne died of pleurisy.

In 1547, Henry VIII of England died. His son Edward VI was crowned the first Protestant King of England. This happened on the birthday of Edward's grandfather Henry VII, mentioned above.

In 1813, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was first published in the UK. If you, like me, read this book in school and hated it at that time, you should read it again. It's better than you remember.

In 1915, an act of Congress officially created the United States Coast Guard as a branch of the armed forces.

In 1956, Elvis Presley made his first appearance on television.

Thank you very much.

**

And that's the way it is in Birdland on January 28 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Thursday.