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Tuesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles take on an entire country('s baseball team)

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The long-awaited (?) exhibition against the Dominican Republic team is today. In the links, Joe Gunkel's substitute teacher adventures, J.J. Hardy works his way back, and Chris Davis will hopefully not be a bad deal.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 27 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number has belonged to quite a few O's players over the years, including Delmon Young, Bruce Chen, Dave Johnson, and Benny Ayala.

Today will be an interesting day because the Orioles will be playing an exhibition game against the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic team. That team, of course, includes two Orioles: Manny Machado and Welington Castillo. The DR team opens its WBC on Thursday at 6pm against Canada, so this game against the Orioles will be something of a shakedown cruise for them.

What does it mean for those left behind? I don't know, not much? The players you're most worried about for the season are probably not the ones who are WBC-bound. Is J.J. Hardy going to get healthy in a reasonable time frame? More on that later. What about Chris Tillman? He's working on it! So is Zach Britton. The sooner they're all back, the better, if only so I can stop fretting about them. Although you've probably noticed that I tend to fret a lot, and I'm not talking about playing the guitar.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles pitcher Joe Gunkel in the zone as substitute teacher during offseason - Baltimore Sun
I often give a hard time to Orioles beat writers for missing big stories and not always doing a great job of finding small, fun stories, so here's a salute for bringing us the story of Joe Gunkel ending up as the substitute teacher for a health class during the sex ed unit.

MLB, stop paying your minor leaguers like shit.

Hardy's ready to start swinging a bat - School of Roch
The latest date offered by Hardy was March 10, and he's now not going to make that either, but nonetheless everyone involved is staying optimistic about his progress.

Taking an early guess at the 25-man roster - Steve Melewski
This roster projection doesn't have either of the Rule 5 picks making the cut, or Trey Mancini. I remain puzzled by the Sarasota corps having such an enduring fascination with Craig Gentry.

How Much Are Last Year’s Free Agents Worth Now? | FanGraphs Baseball
The short version of this article for Orioles fans is that if Chris Davis doesn't rebound this year - like we can hoep he will now that he says his hand is healthy - that's going to be a real bad contract... but still not as bad as Jason Heyward's.

Braves lose Christian Walker to Reds on waiver claim - Talking Chop
Many people seemed to believe the Orioles lost something of value when they DFA'd Christian Walker, but it turns out he had so little value to the Braves that they've already gotten rid of him.

Boog Powell Answers Call - Lookout Landing
I love that there's a minor leaguer out there named Boog Powell who is of no relation to the Orioles Boog Powell. Our friends over at the Mariners blog have some thoughts on his outlook for this season. He should try not getting suspended for 80 games.

Birthdays and anniversaries

One lone former Oriole has a birthday today: Joe Carter, who was here at the end of his career in 1998. That's it. That's all of them.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: photography inventor Nicéphore Niépce (1765), Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston (1956), funny lady Wanda Sykes (1964), and The Office's Pam, Jenna Fischer (1974). Not a lot of good birthdays today, I have to say. Maybe you will be famous and you can go on this list.

On this day in history...

In 321, Roman emperor Constantine the Great proclaimed that the dies Solis Invicti - that is, sun-day - would be the day of rest in the empire.

In 1850, US Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts gave a speech endorsing the Compromise of 1850, in which, among other things, California was admitted to the Union as a free (non-slave) state and a stronger Fugitive Slave Act was passed. But war was avoided, for a time.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the patent for the telephone.

In 1965, state and local police in Selma, Alabama attacked about 600 marching civil rights activists with billy clubs and tear gas. March organizer Amelia Boynton was beaten unconscious. They simply call this day Bloody Sunday.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on March 7 - at least, until something happens later. Kevin Gausman is getting the start against the Dominican team this afternoon.