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Tuesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles and everyone else enter hot stove season

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The free agency period has officially begun, so the Orioles can begin their favorite activity of doing nothing. In today's links, surprise about Britton's place in the Cy voting, free agent predictions begin, and more.

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Hello, friends.

There are now 146 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2017, which continues to be so many days away that I don't want to think about it, so let's not.

What we can think about is the start of the hot stove season, because as of the clock striking midnight today, baseball's free agency period has begun. Anyone can now sign anywhere freely - well, except for the ten players who got qualifying offers, as they have to either accept or decline the offers before they can move on with their business. I'm not very worried about the Orioles doing something immediately. That's not what they do.

As you surely know by now, one of the ten players who got the qualifying offer is Mark Trumbo. Matt Wieters is not one of those ten players. So at most the Orioles will get one extra draft pick due to a departing free agent - and that's only if Trumbo actually departs. You never know who the Orioles might decide to re-sign. They might even re-sign Wieters. Crazier things have happened.

So it may be the offseason, but at least there's a lot to talk about today - and that's not even getting into Buck Showalter being a finalist for AL Manager of the Year, and Zach Britton NOT finishing in the top three for the AL Cy Young voting. Controversy! Or maybe it's not very controversial at all. I guess it depends on how much of a homer we all end up being about it.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles catcher offers Joe Flacco sliding lesson after QB provides scare - AFC North- ESPN
Sunday's Ravens game saw Flacco make a slide so awkward that he popped out of his knee brace. Luckily, here's Caleb Joseph offering to give Flacco some tips on sliding.

PECOTA misses big again on O's, plus early 2017 predictions - Steve Melewski
If you've been waiting for somebody whose outlet is more than 80% owned by the Orioles to come out and say "I told you so!" to all of the pre-season haters, well, by golly, your time has finally come.

Showalter reacts to Britton's exclusion from Cy Young finalists - School of Roch
This absolutely drove me crazy and I'll have some more to say about it on this website later.

Tap-In Question: What's your favorite Camden Yards' memory? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Yes, I know, all of you who were there for the Delmon Young Double, that's your answer. What about everyone who wasn't there for The Double?

2016-17 Top 50 MLB Free Agents With Predictions - MLB Trade Rumors
The folks at MLBTR think the Orioles will end up re-signing Trumbo and also sign Michael Saunders. I'll be pretty surprised if they end up retaining Trumbo. The only guys they've re-signed as free agents have been "their" guys - and even then, not all of them.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 1966, Orioles slugger and Triple Crown winner was proclaimed the unanimous choice for American League MVP - the first in franchise history. Also on this day in 1991, Cal Ripken Jr. was awarded the AL MvP for the second time in his career. That's still the most recent Orioles MVP.

There are three former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2000 two-gamer Carlos Casimiro, 1994 short-timer Dwight Smith, and Wally Westlake, who played in eight games for the 1955 Orioles. Mr. Westlake is turning 96 years old today. An extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Milton Bradley founder Milton Bradley (1836), Count Dracula creator Bram Stoker (1847), blues artist Bonnie Raitt (1949), author Kazuo Ishiguro (1954), raging TV chef Gordon Ramsay (1966), and Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton (1989).

On this day in history...

In 1519, the conquistador Hernan Cortes entered Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, where he received a celebration from Montezuma.

In 1889, the state of Montana was admitted to the union as the 41st of the United States.

In 1942, the French Resistance staged a coup in Algiers, aiding the Allied landings in French North Africa which began that same morning - Operation Torch.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon in what was, in terms of the nationwide popular vote, the closest presidential election of the 20th century, with Kennedy edging Nixon by fewer than 125,000 votes cast - though in the electoral college it was 303-219.

In 1966, former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke became the first black man to be elected to the US Senate since the Reconstruction era. Today, there are two black senators.

**

And that's the way it is in Birdland on November 8 - unless something changes later.

Go vote today. You're only exempt if you've already voted, you're not American, or you're under 18.