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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Orioles pitchers and catchers start to work out

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Orioles pitchers and catchers reported to Sarasota yesterday, and today they'll get to work. In today's links, talk about Castillo missing time, the outfield defense and how to fix it, and a former Oriole asks for forgiveness.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 48 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number was worn most recently by Vance Worley in the past season and was worn the longest by Ross Grimsley, who still talks on 105.7 about the Orioles from time to time. For those who find spring training exciting, today is even better because it's going to give the first chance for pitchers to throw and catchers to catch.

The catchers catching part is significant today in particular because it seems there is at least a little bit of anxiety about Welington Castillo's going off to play in the World Baseball Classic this spring. There are over three weeks between now and the time where Castillo is going to leave the team. Am I supposed to believe those three weeks, in addition to the two weeks he will have after the WBC, are insufficient? It's a little ridiculous.

Speaking of ridiculous, there's a lot of discussion about the Orioles outfield defense in today's links, particularly a lot of explanations from the Orioles about how it's not as bad as you think it is. Every bit of independent data disagrees, but hey, that's the way it goes sometimes. Facts can be pesky like that.

Let's hit the links.

Around the blogO'sphere

Duquette and Showalter discuss Jones' positioning in field - School of Roch
You may recall not too long ago that Adam Jones said the Orioles need to improve their outfield defense, but it seems that improving Adam Jones' positioning is not one way that will be accomplished.

Orioles haven't improved outfield defense with personnel, but perhaps through positioning - Baltimore Sun
Yesterday's discussion of where Jones should be positioned was sparked by some things written by ESPN's Doug Glanville. The Sun actually spoke to Glanville to find out what he meant.

Hope springs eternal on Day One of camp - Steve Melewski
If hope springs eternal on day one, what does it spring on day two?

Orioles Welington Castillo has big task ahead | MLB.com
I have faith that Welington will be able to triumph in the Hundred Days Campaign. That's just history!

Lots of news involving the Orioles' catching corps, but no movement in Wieters' situation - BaltimoreBaseball.com
You may have noticed a theme over the offseason where the only people who are confused at why Matt Wieters hasn't signed yet are national baseball writers carrying water for Scott Boras and Orioles beat writers who talk about how much Wieters tutored Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Minor League Ball Top 200 MLB prospects for 2017 - Minor League Ball
From our friends over at SB Nation's Minor League Ball. The Orioles competition has high-rated prospects and the Orioles do not.

In first interview since insensitive tweets, Steve Clevenger says he's not racist (Yahoo Sports)
It's kind of under-selling Clevenger's tweets to dismiss them as simply "insensitive," but as far as the mystery of why Clevenger remains unsigned, it's probably that he's about to be 31 and has a career OPS of .608 and isn't very good at throwing out runners either.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are no noteworthy transactions in Orioles history today. There are also no birthdays today for anyone who has ever played a game for the Orioles. That's not very interesting, but it's the truth.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Civil War General Winfield Hancock (1824), union leader and mysterious disappear-er Jimmy Hoffa (1913), Golden Corral co-founder James Maynard (1940), Watergate-famous journalist Carl Bernstein (1944), magician Teller (1948), and Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas (1972).

On this day in history...

In 1778, the USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones, received a nine-gun salute by French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte. This is the first time in history the United States flag received such a formal salute.

In 1849, President James K. Polk had his picture taken in New York City, marking the first time the current president had his photograph taken.

In 1899, Congress approved the use of voting machines in federal elections.

In 1945, United States Army Air Force and British Royal Air Force bombers began the fire-bombing of Dresden. Historians now believe that 22,000-25,000 people, mostly women and children, were killed in this bombing campaign.

In 1956, the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union began its meeting. This is a noteworthy meeting because, on its final night, premier Nikita Khrushchev delivered a secret speech condemning crimes committed by Joseph Stalin.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on February 14 - or at least, until something happens later. Be on the lookout for photos and videos taken of pitchers by reporters who don't know which way you should hold a phone to take a picture. Have a safe Tuesday. Go Orioles!