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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles play the Orioles, again

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Another intrasquad game awaits the Orioles today, if it doesn't rain again. In today's links, Britton says his oblique is fine, more people openly covet Manny Machado, and a young O's fan has a very good day.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 39 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This is the number that is currently in use by Kevin Gausman. In Orioles history, it has been used by a variety of others, including the immortal Stumblin' Jack Cust, Randy Milligan, and Eddie Watt.

The Orioles are going to play the Orioles again today. You might think that means that the Orioles are guaranteed to both win and lose, but not necessarily. The other intrasquad game ended in a tie. They were supposed to play this game yesterday. Rain altered their plans, as it tends to do. Maybe that will happen again today.

One thing that won't happen, whether they play the game or not, is Zach Britton pitching. He's still nursing the oblique injury that everyone is currently insisting is not anything serious. If it was the regular season, he would play through it, and so on and so forth. Of course that's what they need to believe, and hopefully they even believe it because it's what is true.

Around the blogO'sphere

Britton on soreness: "I don't think it's anything serious" - School of Roch
In fairness, there's not much interesting to talk about during spring training, so it's very easy for minor non-events to get totally blown out of proportion. That is basically all that spring training is.

Michael Bourn adds speed to Orioles outfield, but will he play enough to make a difference? - Baltimore Sun
One mystery is why Michael Bourn, yet another left-handed hitting outfielder, is assumed to be headed towards making the team unless somebody gets injured.

Appreciating Matt Wieters and scouting Richard Rodríguez - Steve Melewski
The appreciating of Matt Wieters needs no explanation. Richard Rodriguez is a rather more unknown quantity.

New Orioles lefties Vidal Nuno and Richard Bleier arrive in camp eager for new opportunity - Baltimore Sun
Give us your 5 ERA, your poor, your soft-tossing lefties yearning to collect big league checks. Joking aside, one of these guys might actually be useful for the O's - and they're here now, so no reason not to root for them.

Maikel Franco must improve at the plate as Manny Machado free agency looms (CSN Philly)
It's not only doofuses in New York and Boston who are already openly coveting Manny Machado being a free agent after two more seasons. Here's a dude in Philly using that fact for some narrative.

Manny Machado and O's make young fan's day | MLB.com
Your blogging correspondent confesses to a peevish reaction to this story, about an 11-year-old who has been blogging about the Orioles for one month and got to go to spring training to interview a few guys. Those less personally invested will probably find it adorable.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day last year, the Orioles were reported to have signed Dexter Fowler. This has become the "Dewey defeats Truman" of recent Birdland history.

There are two former Orioles with birthdays today. They are Bobby Bonilla and 1981-86 Oriole and later coach John "T-Bone" Shelby.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Messiah composer George Frideric Handel (1685), NAACP co-founder W.E.B. Du Bois (1868), Star Trek computer voice Majel Barrett (1932), funny man Aziz Ansari (1983), and actress Emily Blunt (1983).

On this day in history...

In 532, Byzantine Emperor Justinian I ordered the construction of an Orthodox Christian basilica in Constantinople - which, after about 900 years, became a great mosque in Istanbul. You can still go see the Hagia Sophia today.

In 1455, tradition says that the Gutenberg Bible - the first book printed on a movable press in the West - was first printed. A professor of mine regularly referred to this event as "the democratization of the Bible."

In 1927, physicist Werner Heisenberg penned a letter to a colleague in which he first described the uncertainty principle that now bears his name.

In 1945, a group of U.S. Marines, and one Navy corpsman, reached the top of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima and were photographed in the middle of an iconic flag hoist. The battle would rage for another month afterwards.

**

And that's the way it is in Birdland on February 23 - or at least, unless something happens later, which it sure might. There are still players out there to be signed to minor league deals, after all. Dan Duquette loves minor league deals. Have a safe Thursday.