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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles have an Opening Day starter with a 5 ERA

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It's really not a good sign when the nominal staff ace and Opening Day starter had a 4.99 ERA last season, is it? Well, that's the boat the Orioles are in. Plus some MASN mediation fun, MLB expansion musing, and spring opponent quality.

Hello, friends.

There are now just six days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This is the number currently worn by Jonathan Schoop, and of course, before him it was occupied for most of the 00s by Melvin Mora. This bit of trivia once led to one of McNulty's sons calling the other one numbnuts. In fairness to the elder of the junior McNultys, his younger brother did just think David Segui was number six.

This is close enough to Opening Day where the prospect of the season beginning is actually kind of terrifying. The Orioles rotation has been horrible. Kevin Gausman is going to start the season on the disabled list and the other four guys have sucked. Isn't this fun?

The good news is that there will be dingers. So many dingers. Even the second- and third-stringers got in on the act in yesterday's spring training win over the Red Sox, spoiling the last spring home game for David Ortiz. Yes, that was actually something that was being made a big deal about. That deserves to be spoiled on principle.

Around the blogO'sphere

Chris Tillman to start opening day for Baltimore Orioles again (ESPN)
This is the third straight Opening Day start for Tillman, which hasn't been done since the days of Mike Mussina. Is there anything more Orioles than having an Opening Day starter with a 4.99 ERA?

Opponent quality stat sheds light on competition for Orioles regulars in spring training - Baltimore Sun
The short version is that the expected Orioles regulars are facing better competition. Others are facing lesser competition.

Camden Depot: How MLB Expansion Makes Sense
Over at Camden Depot, some pondering of the idea of expansion. This is my periodic lighting of the signal for our vanished commenter Southern Marylander.

Mediation or arbitration could be next playing field in MASN rights fee dispute - Baltimore Sun
Yes, I'm sure non-binding mediation will be just the thing to solve this dispute. But, for the meantime, know this: The Orioles wanted mediation, the Nationals didn't, but the Nationals gave in and agreed because they thought the judge would make them do it anyway. If the Nationals are against it, I'm for it!

School of Roch: Kevin Gausman headed to DL, Odrisamer Despaigne optioned
Everything is terrible. Not the Despaigne part. I don't really care about him yet. Sorry, Odrisamer.

Steve Melewski: Sizing up spring: Some things have gone well, some not as well
A headline that tackles an issue head on with the exact sort of aplomb you can expect from Steve Melewski.

How the Orioles stack up against the Red Sox in 2016 - Over the Monster
We've seen Yankees fans and Blue Jays fans weigh in on the 2016 Orioles. Now, over on the Red Sox blog, one of those guys takes a crack at this year's O's team.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 2008, the Orioles released Jay Gibbons.

One lone former Oriole has a birthday today. That is Juan Bell, turning 48 today, who appeared in 113 games for the O's over three seasons, the vast majority of which were in 1991.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: John Tyler, 10th President of the US (1790), pitching great Cy Young (1867), World War I soldier and memoirist Ernst Junger (1895), basketballer and rhyme stylist Walt "Clyde" Frazier (1945), Milford Mill's own MLBer Brian Jordan (1967), Xena actress Lucy Lawless (1968), and tennis star Jennifer Capriati (1976).

My favorite bit of trivia about President Tyler is that he still has two living grandsons. How crazy is that?

On this day in history...

In 1461, Edward of York defeated Queen Margaret in the Battle of Towton to become King Edward IV of England, though the line of Yorks did not long survive Edward's death two decades later.

In 1806, construction was authorized for the Cumberland Road - yes, that Cumberland. In Maryland today we still call this road the National Pike.

In 1886, in a back yard in Atlanta, Dr. John Pemberton brewed the first batch of Coca-Cola.

In 1961, the 23rd Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, giving DC residents the right to vote in presidential elections.

In 1984, some Mayflower vans left the area in the middle of a snowstorm, heading west. You probably don't want to talk about it if you remember it.

**

And that's the way it is in Birdland on March 29 - at least, until something happens later. Which it very well might, since if nothing else there is one of the last few O's spring training games coming up at 6:05pm. It'll even be televised on MASN! What a concept. Have a safe Tuesday.