There are now 55 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number was worn most recently in 2013 by Dan Johnson, who I don't have any memory of being on that team. It was also worn by past Orioles legends including Ramon Hernandez, Doug Johns, and Scott Klingenbeck.
We are also now within one week of pitchers and catchers reporting to Sarasota for the start of spring training. There are people who are excited by this, although if you've been following this space all offseason, you know I am not one of those people. It's nice in that it's one more marker to pass to show that real baseball is getting closer... but real baseball it is surely not.
There's not much left to happen between now and the start of spring training, unless maybe the Orioles sign some guys to minor league contracts. They still haven't announced their official spring training roster. The biggest news yesterday was that Robert Andino, the personal destroyer of the 2011 Red Sox, has signed a minor league contract. Beat writers quickly praised this addition of needed infield depth. Look, I love Andino, okay, but if he's your depth, you don't have depth.
Let's hit the links.
Around the blogO'sphere
Orioles bring back Andino on minor league deal - School of Roch
Does Andino belong on any list of greatest Orioles of all time? No, of course he doesn't. But he doesn't NOT belong on one, either.
Getting to know Roger McDowell: Orioles' new pitching coach reunites with Alan Mills - Baltimore Sun
Since the Orioles have hired a new pitching coach, you might be curious to learn more about him. For some reason, this article also includes a video where McDowell talks about new bullpen coach Alan Mills.
Manny Machado on the WBC and a look back at the three-homer game - Steve Melewski
FanFest was now over a week ago but there's nothing else going on, so there will be articles full of quotes that are still lingering around from FanFest.
Thoughts on Gausman, Brach and the Orioles’ arbitration process - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly never actually believed that the Orioles would stick to "file and trial" with the O's three eligible players, and sure enough, with Kevin Gausman, they didn't. Brad Brach remains. Will they send him to the hearing as well?
Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman have O's excited | MLB.com
I feel like this is about the ninth version of this exact article that I've seen this offseason, and I might be underestimating that. Here's hoping they are genuinely exciting this year as everyone wants them to be.
Who Needs a New Pitch the Most? | FanGraphs Baseball
Spoiler: One of them is Dylan Bundy. Well, he says he's going to start throwing his cutter again, so maybe that's the pitch he needs.
Contenders or pretenders? The state of MLB's mid-tier teams (ESPN)
Before finding this article, I never knew that there was an ESPN writer named Bradford Doolittle. Now I know. And you can read his thoughts on the Orioles, who he labels as one of the mid-tier teams in MLB... based on projected run differential (lol).
Speaking of projections, PECOTA numbers will be out today! Dun dun dun!
Yankees 2017 Potential Free Agent Target: Matt Wieters - Pinstripe Alley
There was a time where the idea of Matt Wieters signing with the Yankees could send Orioles fans into a spiral of depression. Now, you might be rooting that this happens if only so the Orioles aren't tempted to sign him back.
Birthdays and anniversaries
On this day in 2012, the Korea Baseball Organization filed its official protest against the Orioles then-signing of 17-year-old pitcher Seong-Min Kim, which led to Orioles scouts being banned from all amateur Korean baseball scouting, a ban that has never been definitively said to be lifted. Kim, you may recall, turned out to be absolutely nothing like what he was said to be and the Orioles ultimately didn't sign him. I wonder if the underling who was responsible for all of this still works for the team.
There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: the Arrieta trade return, Scott Feldman; 2012 outfielder Endy Chavez, 2004 swingman Dave Borkowski, 1979-84 reserve outfielder Benny Ayala, and the late Al Smith of the 1963 Orioles. Ayala turns 66 years old today.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Catholic martyr St. Thomas More (1478), Deere & Company founder John Deere (1804), novelist Charles Dickens (1812), Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867), low places friend-haver Garth Brooks (1962), comedian and actor Chris Rock (1965), recently-retired NBA point guard Steve Nash (1974), and occasionally funny man Ashton Kutcher (1978).
On this day in history...
In 1795, the Eleventh Amendment to the US Constitution, which deals with states having some sovereign immunity, was ratified upon approval by the legislature of North Carolina. Maryland was the 10th of 12 needed states to ratify.
In 1904, the Great Baltimore Fire began at what is now the southwest corner of the Royal Farms Arena. The fire would rage for 30 hours before being controlled - in part because responding firefighters from Washington and Philadelphia couldn't hook their hoses to Baltimore hydrants. Over 1,500 buildings were destroyed, though history agrees no deaths directly occurred due to the fire.
In 1935, the board game Monopoly was invented. Some time after becoming an adult, I learned that I had been playing this game by the wrong rules for my whole childhood.
In 1962, the United States banned all imports and exports from Cuba.
In 1979, Pluto, then still a planet, moved inside the orbit of Neptune for the first time since either had been discovered.
And that's the way it is in Birdland on February 7 - at least, until something happens later, which it probably will when everybody freaks out after PECOTA once again projects a sub-80 win total for the Orioles. Unless they surprise us! Have a safe Tuesday.