There are now 86 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. I just realized now that I can drop the "2016" from this greeting. Being as we're now in 2016, there's no need to clarify, really. That's pretty cool. There has never been an Oriole wearing the number 86, so there's not any special meaning to this number, although I would like it if the Orioles could 86 their current World Series drought.
We did have some movement in the baseball world yesterday, what with the Royals signing Alex Gordon again, and also with Hall of Fame results being announced. You probably already know that Mike Mussina didn't get in, again. Why do 57% of voters have their heads up their butts to such an extent that they're unable to see the quality of the pitcher before him? I have no answer to the question. But hopefully the electorate's opinion shifts in subsequent years.
So that's that, really. Let's roll through some links to get the day going.
Around the blogO'sphere
The latest on the Orioles and Chris Davis, Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes - Baltimore Sun
In short, the Orioles offer to Davis remains off the table, but they might still pick it up at any time if he wants to. And they might be pursuing either Justin Upton or Yoenis Cespedes for serious, unless that's all just an attempt to work leverage against Davis. Righto.
O’s reportedly view Justin Upton as a fallback option for Chris Davis | (Hardball Talk)
Yesterday, ESPN's Buster Olney threw out the possibility that Upton could end up settling on a one-year contract to build up his value. Upton was very bad against LHP in 2015. I am very interested in one year from Upton if it gets to that point, although one reader scolded me on Twitter for not properly valuing the #14 overall pick.
School of Roch: Mark Quinn to be named Orioles assistant hitting coach (plus Hall of Fame ballot)
The new Orioles assistant hitting coach is a guy who once had fireworks set off for him in his home stadium when he took a walk after going 242 plate appearances without one. That sounds about right. Also, Roch includes his Hall of Fame ballot, which is a fairly typical bit of MASN lede-burying.
Steve Melewski: Looking back: Checking on the 2010 O's top 10 prospects list
Speaking of MASN, here's Steve Melewski looking back at a 2010 O's top prospect list to see how they did. Well, Manny Machado is really good, and Jonathan Schoop has developed into something. Other than that, they sucked mostly, though the revival of Zach Britton as a closer and Mychal Givens as a late-inning reliever makes it all look better as kind of a happy accident.
Scouting the AL East: A look at the 2016 Baltimore Orioles ZiPs projections - Pinstripe Alley
Over at the Yankees SB Nation blog, one writer takes a look at the O's team as things stand right now. What do you think about what he has to say?
Justin Turner 2016 salary arbitration preview - True Blue LA
The guy the Orioles once designated for assignment so they could sign and keep Julio Lugo is now a productive major league player. Yeah, it's really weird. This Dodgers blog writer thinks Turner will get $5.6 million in his final year of arbitration.
Birthdays and anniversaries
There are no interesting anniversaries today.
We do have three former Orioles with birthdays today. Happy birthday to Kyle Hudson, who featured prominently in the 2011 Game 162 dogpile, Francisco Rodriguez, who wasted time and space in 2013, and Ross Grimsley, who pitched for the 1974-77 and 1982 Orioles and still graces the Baltimore radio airwaves to this day.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, you also share this birthday with President Millard Fillmore (1800), author Zora Neale Hurston (1891), Danger Zone highwayman Kenny Loggins (1948), CSI: Miami shades-wearer David Caruso (1956), television journalist Katie Couric (1957), National Treasure (and others) dude Nicolas Cage (1964), and Screech himself, Dustin Diamond (1977).
On this day in history...
In 1566, Pius V was elected pope. Though his papacy lasted just more than six years, in that time he managed to excommunicate Queen Elizabeth I and form a military alliance that defeated the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Lepanto, a naval battle that largely halted Ottoman westward expansion.
In 1610, Galileo Galilei made the first observation of what we now know as the Galilean moons - the four largest moons of Jupiter, Ganymede, Callisto, Io, and Europa.
In 1785, crazy Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and crazy American John Jeffries traveled from Dover, England to Calais, France in a hydrogen gas balloon. This was the first ever such flight, and it took about two and a half hours. Six months later, a different Frenchman tried to fly the opposite direction and died in the attempt.
In 1920, the New York State Assembly refused to seat five Socialist Party legislators who had won election.
In 1955, Ms. Marian Anderson, a contralto, broke the color barrier for the Metropolitan Opera ("The Met") in a performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera.
And that's the way it is in Birdland on January 7 - or at least, unless something happens later, which it might, because we are getting down to the time where things are bound to start happening sooner or later. Have a safe Thursday.