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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Oriole Bird sees his shadow

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It is Groundhog Day, so watch out that you don't repeat this day over and over again. In today's links, players worry about Matt Wieters, Orioles arbitration hearings have kicked off, and hope for Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 60 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This is a number that is currently in use by the team, with Mychal Givens having worn it for the past two seasons. And if you just want to count months and days, we are two months and one day shy of Opening Day. Getting there.

We've reached that point of the offseason where the only real chance for news is minor league signing and spring training invitations. Many teams have released their spring training rosters already, but the Orioles, predictably, have not sent out an official one. It's one of the many ways the Orioles don't move fast - along with, say, announcing the slate of giveaways for the season, as fellow Camden Chatter Stacey Folkemer lamented yesterday.

Actually, there are still some unsigned big leaguers out there who you might have expected to get guaranteed MLB contracts. That includes some very recent Orioles like Matt Wieters, Pedro Alvarez, and Tommy Hunter. This is a source of concern for some current Orioles, as you will see in today's links. Let's get on with the show.

Around the blogO'sphere

The Orioles Might Have a Decision to Make | FanGraphs Baseball
Not the first national baseball media article, and likely not the last, addressing whether the Orioles might find themselves in a place where they should be sellers if they're struggling at the trade deadline.

Heyman - Orioles Sign Johnny Giavotella To Minor League Deal (FanRag)
The Orioles will need somebody to ride the pine if Ryan Flaherty breaks his ankle or something during spring training, and it seems like Johnny Giavotella may be that guy.

Improvement Of Gausman, Bundy Boosts Orioles' Hopes (FanRag)
If optimism that may start to veer away from reality is your thing, this article is for you.

Matt Wieters' current unemployment worries Orioles players on several levels - Baltimore Sun
It's interesting to get perspective from a couple of O's in this article, but maybe the lesson that should be learned is not to overestimate your own market or your currently-demonstrable skills.

Arbitration hearing dates and Davis leftovers - School of Roch
The Orioles had their hearing with Caleb Joseph yesterday and a decision is expected today. The others will be held through this month. Did they really, really need to file and trial with these guys? It seems silly.

Britton: Don't expect to see October bullpen usage come April - Steve Melewski
Zach Britton is of the opinion that the revolutionary October bullpen usage isn't about to carry on throughout the regular season. Sounds about right to me.

Radio chatter: Washington's signing of Vance Worley is Orioles' loss -
Dan Connolly may be the only person who is concerned about the Orioles not re-signing Vance Worley.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 2005, the Orioles completed the trade that brought Sammy Sosa to Baltimore, sending Jerry Hairston Jr., Mike Fontenot, and Dave Crouthers to the Cubs. Did you know that in 2008, Fontenot batted .305/.395/.514 in 119 games? He never topped a .710 OPS after that year.

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: Regrettable 2015 acquisition Travis Snider, father of quintuplets Melvin Mora, surly starter Scott Erickson, 1992 bullpen guy Pat Clements, 1991 bullpen guy Paul Kilgus, and 1968-72 outfielder Don Buford, whose son, Damon, also played for the team. Today is the elder Buford's 80th birthday. Happy birthday to him!

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: the highest-ranking Civil War casualty on either side, traitor general Albert Sidney Johnston (1803), writer James Joyce (1882), baseball Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst (1923), actress Christie Brinkley (1954), singer-songwriter Shakira (1977), and Girls actress Zosia Mamet (1988).

On this day in history...

In 1653, the city of New Amsterdam - known these days as New York - was established.

In 1709, privateer Alexander Selkirk was rescued after being stranded on a desert island in the South Pacific. This tale was the inspiration for Daniel Dafoe's Robinson Crusoe.

In 1887, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the first Groundhog Day was observed.

In 1925, dog sleds carrying diptheria serum reached Nome, Alaska. Years later, this feat inspired the Iditarod sled race. Four of the last five races were won by Dallas Seavey, the youngest to ever win the race; the other was won by his father, Mitch Seavey, the oldest to ever win the race.

In 1943, with the surrender of the final German troops in the city, the Battle of Stalingrad, which had been raging since the previous August, came to a close. There were up to 2 million military casualties between both sides - one of the bloodiest in human history.


And that's the way it is in Birdland on February 2 - or at least, unless something happens later, which, you never know, it might. Expect an arbitration result, if nothing else. Have a safe Thursday.