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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the sun shines brighter because Orioles spring training starts

At long last, the day has finally arrived - Orioles pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota for the start of spring training. In today's links, Buck goes on the radio, Tanner Scott ascendant, and one beat writer rejects PECOTA.

Hello, friends.

There are now 46 days until Orioles Opening Day, and, as of the time this article posts, two hours until Orioles pitchers and catchers officially report to spring training. The number 46 was most recently worn on the O's by Jeremy Guthrie, and most famously worn by the late Mike Flanagan.

If you didn't see it yesterday, the Orioles still figure to be on track to add Yovani Gallardo and Dexter Fowler to their roster before we get too deep into spring training. O's fans can only hope that works out about as well as the last time Dan Duquette was making February moves - two years ago, when he brought in Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz pretty late in the process, although Gallardo and Fowler aren't the same players as those guys.

Is it a good idea? Well, we'll be debating that for the next two or three years, I'd say, as that's how long the contracts of those two players look like they'll be running. Although if the Orioles are good for the next two or three years then it won't be much of a debate after all. I think we'd all be better off if it worked out that way.

Around the blogO'sphere

Steve Melewski: A look at some inaccurate PECOTA projections for the Orioles, plus other notes
You probably know my opinion of PECOTA, but there are people who dislike it more than me, and one of them writes for MASN. Are you convinced by his skepticism?

Swift-climbing Orioles lefty prospect Tanner Scott opening eyes around baseball - Baltimore Sun
No, the article absolutely does not support the headline that Scott is "opening eyes around baseball" - but it does have a few quotes from Scott himself, his college coach, as well as O's pitching coach Dave Wallace.

Orioles Manager Buck Showalter On The Eve Of Spring Training " CBS Baltimore
If you want to hear what Buck had to say to the fellows of 105.7's morning show, this is the place you would go to do so.

School of Roch: Commenting on the camp competitions
There, uh... there actually won't be very many of them if these Gallardo and Fowler signings happen. Unless you're really worried about how T.J. McFarland, Vance Worley, or Chaz Roe will or won't squeeze onto the roster.

Who Will be the Jays Fifth Starter in 2016? - Bluebird Banter
Hey, we're not the only ones wondering this! Our friends up at the Blue Jays blog ponder their own fifth starter situation, which includes Orioles killer Drew Hutchison and perennial O's target (but never O's signee) Gavin Floyd, whom you may have heard went to Mt. St. Joseph's.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this fateful day in 2011, the Orioles finalized the signing of Vladimir Guerrero. Good grief, what a horrible time that was. Andy MacPhail and the free agent market really didn't mix.

Three former Orioles have a birthday today: the late Walter Young, who was here in 2005, Chad Moeller, one of the last pre-Matt Wieters catchers, and Jeff McKnight (1990-91).

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Queen "Bloody" Mary I of England (1516), battery inventor Alessandro Volta (1745), Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari (1898), Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison (1931), movie dude John Hughes (1950), crime novelist and The Wire collaborator George Pelecanos (1957), Wheel of Fortune hostess Vanna White (1957), rapper Dr. Dre (1965), and The Breakfast Club actress Molly Ringwald (1968).

I did not forget about Dre.

On this date in history...

In 1229, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II signed a truce with al-Kamil that granted him Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth - without ever fighting a battle, or having any support from the reigning pope. Not bad for a guy who'd been excommunicated.

In 1791, Congress passed a law that admitted Vermont into the union as one of the United States. Before that, Vermont had kind of been its own country or something.

In 1885, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published.

In 1954, the first Church of Scientology is formed in Los Angeles.

In 2001, NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt died in an accident during the Daytona 500. If you did not have a family member who experienced grief at this event, you are not any part redneck.


And that's the way it is in Birdland on February 18 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Thursday.