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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where we're wearing black after Miguel Gonzalez's release

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The Orioles have put Miguel Gonzalez on release waivers and we're not over it yet. Also in today's links: Joey Rickard officially makes the team, why analytics don't like the Orioles, and inflicting pain on ourselves about Jake Arrieta.

Hello, friends.

There are now just four days until Orioles Opening Day. In honor of this being the retired number of Earl Weaver, do something that would make Ol' Earl smile today - although probably don't choose your boss to be the person to kick dirt upon; that might get you fired.

You will be forgiven if you are wearing black in mourning for Miguel Gonzalez today. The merits of the decision to place him on release waivers can and will be debated, but I think we can all agree that, even if it's a good baseball decision, it's a sad human one, because Gonzalez seemed like a great story and a great guy. Some time either today or tomorrow we'll find out if another team claims him.

Only two fake baseball games remain until the regular season, and it's sounding like there's some thought that one of those games - scheduled to be played tomorrow in Philadelphia - could end up getting rained out anyway. Mother Nature always has her own plans. I'm in a terrified phase. This starting rotation could really, really suck.

Around the blogO'sphere

The Revenant: How Jake Arrieta came back from the baseball dead | SI.com
We spent some time discussing this article yesterday, and since there's nothing quite like being repeatedly kicked in the groin, here it is in case you haven't already seen it.

School of Roch: Rule 5 pick Joey Rickard finds out he made the team
Much like the Gonzalez decision, the merits of Rickard looking to be the starting left fielder may be debated - but this moment of him finding out he made the team is surely a great moment.

Steve Melewski: Notes on Hyun Soo Kim and Miguel Gonzalez, plus a look around the AL East
At 9:10am yesterday, Steve Melewski predicted that Miguel Gonzalez would be in the Orioles starting rotation. I have some sympathy; you'll never be any good talking about baseball if you're afraid of being wrong.

Orioles vs. the stats: Why analytics are down on the Orioles - Baltimore Sun
Speaking of people who are wrong about the Orioles, the honchos of Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus offer their explanations for why their projections have stunk on the O's in the past four years. Do you find any of these satisfying?

Projecting the Baltimore Orioles' win total for the 2016 season - MLB
One more prediction coming in from ESPN leaves the Orioles with a 74 win season. It is an outcome I could see happening if things don't break very well in the team's favor... though I hope it doesn't play out that way.

Leo Mazzone: If Orioles' rotation stays healthy, Baltimore can compete (Press Box)
Because nothing has ever gone wrong with an Orioles starting rotation that Leo Mazzone thinks can compete.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 2005, the Orioles and MLB agreed on a deal that would allow Nationals games to be televised. Yeah, about that deal...

One lone former Oriole has a birthday today: the late Dave Koslo, who pitched in all of three games for 1954's inaugural Orioles team.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include mathematician/philosopher Rene Descartes (1596), baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685), Russian writer Nikolai Gogol (1809), Liz Claiborne founder Liz Claiborne (1929), cowbell proponent Christopher Walken (1943), Cheers actress Rhea Perlman (1948), prequel Obi-Wan Kenobi Ewan McGregor (1971), and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams (1972).

On this day in history...

In 1774, Great Britain ordered the closing of the port of Boston, having authorized itself to do so with the Boston Port Act. This was a response to the Boston Tea Party.

In 1889, the Eiffel Tower officially opened. I went there in 2000. The view from the ground was underwhelming. The view from the top at night can't be beat.

In 1909, construction of the RMS Titanic began.

In 1985, the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) held the first ever Wrestlemania in Madison Square Garden. In the main event, Hulk Hogan and Mr. T took on Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff in a tag-team match.

In 1992, the USS Missouri, which was the last active battleship in the United States Navy, was decommissioned. The Mighty Mo is still on display in Pearl Harbor - and as you may know, this ship was the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan, which ended World War II.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on March 31 - at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Thursday.