There are now 34 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number was worn most recently by Christian Walker in 2015, and has been worn by other Orioles through the years including Jake Arrieta, Jeff Ballard, and Storm Davis.
That means there's more than a month of fake games to get through. Some of those fake games will have some stakes and feature some Orioles - the World Baseball Classic. But for everybody else, it'll be a slog through a month of games that are on neither Baltimore radio nor television. That includes this afternoon, where the game against the Phillies will be on Philly TV but not here in Baltimore.
What may be more important than the games themselves is who is not playing in those games. Chris Tillman will only be starting fielding practice on Friday. J.J. Hardy is more than a week away from the most recent return date he was given. Zach Britton is at least throwing again, though he hasn't played yet. There's nothing we can do but wait through a bunch of games where the latter innings are played by players with jerseys numbered 80+ and no names on the back.
That and roll through the links.
Around the blogO'sphere
Buck Showalter has closed the book on not using Zach Britton | Newsday
Good grief, why are we STILL talking about this? People will never stop talking about it. Baseball Twitter was using the Oscars Best Picture screw-up to dust off their Britton jokes again.
Orioles pick anthem regular from Selinsgrove for opening weekend | Local News | dailyitem.com
If you've gone to Orioles games over the last several years, there's a chance you might have heard Sara Lauver sing the national anthem. She'll be singing Opening Day this year. Congratulations to her.
Orioles notes: Orioles planning to slow play Brach and O'Day - Baltimore Sun
This headline made me panic when I first saw it, but Brach and O'Day being slow-played does not (from what's been revealed so far) have anything to do with any injuries.
Janish on his return to Orioles (plus Yankees lineup) - School of Roch
Do you think the return of Paul Janish means secretly bad news about Hardy? I'll be wondering about that until Hardy is back on the field for more than a few days.
Does Carlos Martinez deal provide a framework for Kevin Gausman, others? - Steve Melewski
If Kevin Gausman had been as good in his career to date as Carlos Martinez has been, it might be more of a good framework. Also, it's hard to imagine the Orioles giving five years to any pitcher.
Will Anthony Santander be returned to the Cleveland Indians this season? - Let's Go Tribe
Our friends over at the SB Nation Indians blog are wondering about Anthony Santander. They think they're going to get him back at the end of spring training, which is kind of adorable.
Birthdays and anniversaries
A couple of former Orioles have birthdays today, although if you've ever heard of either, I salute you. They are Mike Milchin (13 games in 1996) and Dallas Williams (two games in 1981). Williams turns 58 today. Happy birthday to them both.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Imperial German military planner Alfred von Schlieffen (1833), HMS Titanic first officer William Murdoch (1873), Marshalls founder Alfred Marshall (1919), longtime University of North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith (1931), Indy car racer Mario Andretti (1940), Broadway's Bernadette Peters (1948), and Super Bowl-winning Ravens coach and Kyle Boller aficionado Brian Billick (1954).
On this day in history...
In 1784, John Wesley chartered the Methodist Church.
In 1827, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad - the first railroad in the US offering commercial transportation for both freight and passengers - was incorporated.
In 1885, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) was incorporated in New York.
In 1933, Nazi Germany issued the Reichstag Fire Decree, one day after the Reichstag Fire, which essentially made all opponents of Nazi rule into enemies of the state.
In 1983, the series finale of M*A*S*H aired. This was watched by nearly 106 million viewers, or about 45% of the US population at the time. This is still the record for a finale.
And that's the way it is in Birdland on February 28 - or at least, unless something happens later, which it just might, since the Orioles are playing a spring training game today. It's Mardi Gras today. Do whatcha wanna - responsibly.