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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where, surprise, another preview hates the Orioles

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Less than two weeks to Orioles Opening Day! Today in the links: Yovani Gallardo's "off" day, more pondering the outfield situation, and, surprise, another national publication has low expectations for the O's.

Hello, friends.

There are now just 13 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. There are those who might say that 13 is an unlucky number, and to them I would say sure, but Manny Machado wears number 13, so it can't be all bad. The number was also worn by Rodrigo Lopez, who wasn't so awesome, and by the late Steve Barber as well.

There wasn't a whole lot to talk about yesterday, being as it was the lone off day of the spring. Or at least, it was an off day for most players, although as you will see, some put in an appearance in a minor league game. You know how seriously the Orioles media took the game because they apparently relied on the Orioles to tell them what happened in the game. I guess we'll take their word for it.

The O's will be on the road today and tomorrow, and after that it will be Buck Showalter's much-vaunted stretch of six home games out of their final eight Grapefruit League contests. After starting out the spring training schedule 0-10-2, they've since gone 5-2-2, which is a whole lot better. Perhaps not coincidentally, that has happened as their regular players have started to get a greater share of the playing time. It doesn't make me feel much better, though.

Around the blogO'sphere

School of Roch: Updating Yovani Gallardo's minor league start
One of the guys who got some work in on the off day was Yovani Gallardo. He walked three A-ball batters in four innings, among other things, which is kind of... well... there's still time to get it figured out, right?

Orioles spring training trip provides respite in 5-year-old boy's battle with leukemia - Baltimore Sun
Even those among us with the coldest, blackest of hearts will find something warming in this story.

Steve Melewski: Mark Trumbo: "Sometimes it's not the home run swing that is best suited for the job"
Despite what Mark Trumbo says here, I think the Orioles offense is the baseball version of that folksy bit of wisdom: "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." And the Orioles have a lot of hammers.

Orioles outfield faces plenty of questions (Press Box)
Friend of the blog Paul Folkemer sizes up where things stand out in the outfield with less than two weeks to go until everything is for real. Let's hope we're not still talking about this in July.

2016 MLB season preview: Baltimore Orioles | SI.com
Let's cut to the chase here. These guys project the Orioles to win 69 games. We all know the starting rotation is going to be bad... but it can't possibly be THAT bad, can it? Guys? Is anyone out there?

Know Your Enemy: Baltimore Orioles - Bluebird Banter
I have no beef with Bluebird Banter as an institution, nor with its writers, but when I read this tagline: "Death, taxes, and the Orioles being average. The only certain things in life." ... it makes me want to chop down a maple tree while melting all of the ice in every hockey rink in North America.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are two former Orioles with birthdays today. They are 2013 waste of time and space Mike Morse; and the late Billy Goodman, who played in 73 games for the 1957 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those two former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today are Persian astronomer Ulugh Beg (1394), the second-most famous Charles Carroll (1723), Marx brother Chico Marx (1887), theater composer Stephen Sondheim (1930), Star Trek actor William Shatner (1931), theater composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948), sportscaster Bob Costas (1952), funny man Keegan-Michael Key (1971), and actress Reese Witherspoon (1976).

On this day in history...

In 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act, levying a tax directly on the American colonies. The rest is history.

In 1916, the last Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, abdicated the throne, restoring the Republic of China ... with Yuan Shikai as its president. Y'know, that one seems a little... off.

In 1963, the first album by the Beatles, titled Please Please Me, was released in the UK.

In 1972, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Eisenstadt v. Baird, in which it ruled that unmarried persons have the right to possess contraceptives. This is the kind of thing where I think, it wasn't THAT long ago, and yet...

In 1997, the comet Hale-Bopp - considered to be the most-viewed comet in human history as it was visible to the naked eye for 569 days - made its closest approach to Earth. If you missed it back then, you'll have to stick around until 4385 for its next passage.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on March 22 - at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Tuesday.