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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where we learn anew that Manny Machado is really good

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Manny Machado is really good, which isn't news to anyone, but Buck Showalter suggests that one member of the Orioles could don a disguise, which is. Also: the strange Chris/Khris Davis confluence, and other tidbits.

Hello, friends.

There are now 11 days until Orioles Opening Day. The number was worn most recently by Robert Andino, slayer of the 2011 Boston Red Sox, and most famously in the annals of the O's by Doug DeCinces. Did you know that DeCinces came in third in the AL MVP voting in 1982? Unfortunately, that was the year after he left the Orioles, so it didn't do the O's much good.

Opening Day is now somewhat terrifyingly close, what with the starting rotation continuing to kind of suck and several Orioles, including Kevin Gausman, suffering from injuries that may cause them to miss the beginning of the season. There's really not a whole lot of good to be said about that.

But let's not give in to panic too much just yet - at least, not until we have to. Nothing counts until Opening Day. The losses of spring training only matter if they keep losing a lot in April.

Around the blogO'sphere

With Brian Matusz's status in question, Orioles looking for lefty relief help - Baltimore Sun
The result of all of this was yesterday's head-scratching decision to re-sign LOOGY Zach Phillips, who was here briefly a few years ago and wasn't bad. Were there no better choices? I guess not.

2016 Positional Power Rankings: Third Base | FanGraphs Baseball
Manny Machado is so good that even Fangraphs knows it. They offer this tantalizing possibility: What if he could get even better than he was last year?

School of Roch: Gonzalez's final line and Showalter on Bundy (Orioles fall 6-5)
Miguel Gonzalez stunk yesterday, but one highlight is that Buck Showalter suggested that Dylan Bundy should change his name to Rocco Johnson and grow a Fu Manchu in order to disguise his identity.

The Area Where Khris Davis Became Chris Davis | FanGraphs Baseball
Apparently, the Highlander law that there can be only one does not apply when it comes to the simultaneous baseball careers of Chris and Khris Davis.

Steve Melewski: Notes on Hunter Harvey, Dylan Bundy and future free agents (updated)
You'll never believe this, but Steve Melewski is all on board for a healthy return for Hunter Harvey.

And finally, a familiar face pops up in Korea, though not in the way you think...

Dan Connolly article on Hyun Soo Kim
The former Baltimore Sun scribe is going to have a weekly column for a Korean paper. It seems they may be interested in the Orioles due to the presence of Kim. Hopefully he gives them a lot to follow and talk about. You have to scroll down to get the English, unless you want to deploy your browser for a very choppy translation.

Birthdays and anniversaries

One lone former Oriole has a birthday today: the late Dick Kryhoski, who appeared in 100 games for the inaugural 1954 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Dutch Admiral Michiel de Ruyter (1607), Marine chronometer inventor John Harrison (1693), magician Harry Houdini (1874), Hanna-Barbera co-founder Joseph Barbera (1911), "The King of Cool" Steve McQueen (1930), the drill sergeant stereotype personified R. Lee Ermey (1944), Tommy Hilfiger founder Tommy Hilfiger (1951), absurdly wealthy dude Steve Ballmer (1956), wrestler The Undertaker (1965), and Zero Dark Thirty actress Jessica Chastain (1977).

On this day in history...

In 1603, with the death of Elizabeth I, King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England and Ireland. He is the King James who has a whole version of the Bible named after him. And by the way, long after the day of James I, the kingdoms of England and Scotland were unified on this day in 1707.

In 1721, Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated the Brandenburg Concertos.

In 1765, Great Britain passed the Quartering Act, which you may have heard in history class upset some colonists on the American shores.

In 1882, Robert Koch announced the discovery of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis.

In 1944, "The Great Escape" - later made into a movie starring McQueen - began as 76 Allied prisoners of war escaped from a German camp. Only three successfully eluded capture, and 50 were executed.

In 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska, spilling 240,000 barrels of crude oil.

**

And that's the way it is in Birdland on March 24 - or at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Thursday.