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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Impatiently awaiting the return of Orioles baseball

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Things have been quiet in Birdland since Mark Trumbo was re-signed. In today's links, helping some middle schoolers, the Orioles homegrown starters, and one writer's pick for the best free agent signing in Orioles history.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 69 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number, not surprisingly, has never been worn in a game by an Orioles player - though of course, in 1969, the Orioles were pretty good, even if they didn't win the World Series. So maybe that's a sign that today will be a good day.

What it's not a sign of is that something is very likely to happen today. Now that Mark Trumbo is back in the fold, there don't seem to be any more big moves lined up. Perhaps they'll do a few signings that don't have a high chance of mattering all that much, and we will have to act like they might be a big deal because there's absolutely nothing to talk about. Perhaps not even those signings will happen between now and the start of spring training.

One thing that's still to come in the offseason is Orioles FanFest this Saturday. Are you going? I will be there. FanFest has been a lot more interesting - though also a lot more crowded - since the Orioles have started winning. It's the one chance all year where a large number of Orioles players and staff get in front of crowds in a bit looser of an environment. There is nothing about FanFest in today's links, though, because there's nothing to say about it.

Around the blogO'sphere

Baltimore Orioles team up with students for Health and Fitness Challenge - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
The Orioles are sponsoring some fitness programs for middle schoolers in Sarasota. Isn't that nice of them?

Orioles' shopping list shrinking, but not finished as spring training approaches - Baltimore Sun
This is the rare Orioles beat writer article that has at least some shred of recognition that the Orioles desire to balance the handedness of their lineup doesn't jibe with needing to improve against left-handed pitching because of their righties who struggle against lefties.

A check on projected homegrown starting pitchers in MLB - Steve Melewski
If you ask Steve Melewski, the Orioles starting rotation - and farm pipeline - has done OK because there are two home-grown pitchers in it right now, more than many other teams can say.

O's best free-agent signing: Rafael Palmeiro | MLB.com
The 30 beat writers for MLB.com all weighed in on the best free agent signing in each franchise's history. Brittany Ghiroli's pick for the Orioles is Rafael Palmeiro - the first time around, of course.

Dodgers acquire Logan Forsythe from Rays for Jose De Leon - True Blue LA
Logan Forsythe really destroyed the Orioles in 2015, although he did not do so as much in 2016. Either way, he's out of the division now. I won't miss him.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are two former Orioles with birthdays today. They are 2016 short-timer Ashur Tolliver and 1978-83 bullpen guy Tim Stoddard. Today is Stoddard's 64th birthday.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for the day include the following: wall-building Roman emperor Hadrian (76), Prussian King Frederick the Great (1712), novelist Edith Wharton (1862), actor Ernest Borgnine (1917), SNL great John Belushi (1949), "In Soviet Russia" joke-teller Yakov Smirnoff (1951), gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton (1968), and actress Kristen Schaal (1978).

On this day in history...

In 41, Roman Emperor Caligula was assassinated by his own Praetorian Guard, leading to the reign of Caligula's uncle Claudius.

In 1848, with the discovery of gold by James Marshall in Sutter's Mill near Sacramento, the California Gold Rush officially began.

In 1933, the 20th Amendment to the US Constitution, which changed the start of presidential and Congressional terms from March to January, was ratified. Missouri was the 36th state to ratify, allowing the amendment to take effect. Maryland did not ratify the amendment until two months after it was already in effect.

In 1972, Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi of the Imperial Japanese Army was found hiding in the jungle of Guam. On returning to Japan, he said, "It is with great embarrassment that I return." Yokoi was the third-to-last Japanese soldier to surrender himself after the end of World War II.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on January 24 - at least, unless something happens later, which you never know, it might. Dan Duquette is a mysterious man, and I will probably be away from a computer at some point today, which almost guarantees something will happen. Have a safe Tuesday.