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Thursday Bird Droppings: Happy birthday to Zach Britton

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It's Zach Britton's birthday today. Today in the links, Hunter Harvey approaches a mound again, more Manny Machado trade talk, the O's neighbor shows interest in Matt Wieters, and more.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 102 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2017. Coincidentally, this is probably the same number of games the 2016 Orioles could have won if they had a competent starting rotation. I don't actually believe that, no.

It's been a quiet week for the O's, and I sure don't expect that to change before Christmas, or indeed before 2017 rolls around. Some time maybe they will decide what they are doing about Mark Trumbo, and some time maybe they will address the gaping hole in right field. I really hope they don't sign Trumbo and consider that addressing the hole in right field. Putting a Rule 5 pick in right field would not be much better.

These are questions that will be answered another day, much like the question of whether the Orioles will reach a point where they should, or will, trade Manny Machado. Have you weighed in on that topic yet? It's not a pretty thing to imagine, but we could be six months away from when it needs to be seriously considered.

Let's hit the links.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles pitching prospect Hunter Harvey could resume throwing next week - Baltimore Sun
Hey, do you remember this guy? There's nothing quite so reassuring as the word "could" from a mainstream media source. That was sarcasm just there.

Nationals show interest in Matt Wieters | FOX Sports
One thing that I would not be able to handle is if Wieters goes anywhere else and looks anything like the catcher we always imagined but never saw here. Especially if that somewhere is Washington.

MLB Has A Problem If Orioles Feel Need To Trade Machado (FanRag)
This may or may not be true, but given that a five year CBA was just ratified, nothing will change about it any time soon.

Which team doled out the largest free-agent contract of calendar year 2016? The Orioles - BaltimoreBaseball.com
I don't know about you, but this doesn't make me feel particularly better about what's going on with the Orioles THIS offseason.

Does Schoop stay at second base? - School of Roch
We have reached the portion of the offseason where there's nothing better to do than have mainstream writers speculating about whether Jonathan Schoop could end up playing third base or shortstop. Send help.

Minus big fastball, Joe Gunkel found his way to the 40-man roster - Steve Melewski
You guys won't believe this, but Steve Melewski really likes an Orioles minor leaguer who faces a strong uphill climb to ever being a productive big leaguer. Another thing Melewski wrote recently pondered whether four years and $60 million would get Chris Tillman re-signed. If you have been paying attention, you already know this is not the case.

Is Buster Posey A Christmas Movie? - McCovey Chronicles
This article from our friends at the SB Nation Giants blog made me laugh. I hope it will also make you laugh.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 1953, Jack Dunn III officially turned over the name "Orioles" to the newly-moved MLB franchise. The Dunn family had operated the International League Baltimore Orioles back in the day. Also on this day in 2009, the Orioles officially signed one of Camden Chat's favorite players, Garrett Atkins.

Actually, everyone here hated Atkins, mostly because he was bad at playing baseball. Andy MacPhail's whole "buy the bats" part of his philosophy really could have gone better.

There is one current Oriole with a birthday today: closer Zach Britton turns 29. Hooray, happy birthday! There are also some former Orioles with birthdays: 2015 short-timer "All The Way" Rey Navarro, 2011 infielder Blake Davis, 2011 long man Chris "Jack O'Boskie" Jakubauskas, 1993-94 reserve outfielder Lonnie Smith, 1984 bullpen member Tom Underwood, and longtime Orioles player/coach Elrod Hendricks, who passed away 11 years ago yesterday.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those several former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Roman emperor Diocletian (244), Genghis Khan successor/son Chagatai Khan (1183), opera composer Giacomo Puccini (1858), Hall of Fame baseball manager Cornelius "Connie Mack" McGillicuddy (1862), and singer-songwriter Jordin Sparks (1989).

On this day in history...

In 856, in old Persia and modern-day Iran, an earthquake struck the city of Damghan, killing an estimated 200,000 people. This is the sixth-deadliest earthquake in history. In the most recent census, Damghan had 57,331 people.

In 1808, Ludwig van Beethoven both conducted and performed in several debut performances of his works in Vienna, Austria, including his famous Fifth Symphony. DA DA DA DAAAAAA.

In 1944, during World War II's Battle of the Bulge, a German general demanded the soldier of American paratroopers defending Bastogne, Belgium. U.S. General Anthony McAuliffe sent this reply: "Nuts!" The Germans did not capture Bastogne in the campaign.

In 1989, the Brandenburg Gate in Germany re-opened after nearly 30 years, marking the effective end of any divisions between East and West Germany.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on December 22 - unless something happens later, which, you know, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. Have a safe Thursday. Go Orioles!