Hello, friends.

There are now 16 days to go until Orioles Opening Day. That is just Trey Mancini days to go until there is real Orioles baseball being played, or if you prefer, Scott McGregor days. That is really not may days at all. Even if your hopes aren’t high for the O’s this season, there’s still the excitement that baseball is coming, and with it, warmer weather.

The spring training schedule rolls on with an afternoon contest against the Twins. As the Orioles are on the road for the game, this contest will be neither televised nor on the radio in the Baltimore area, but if you subscribe to the right MLB products, you can listen to a Twins broadcast of the game online. The newly-signed Twin Lance Lynn will be starting the game for them.

There are now 45 players in Orioles camp after Monday’s several cuts, with Alec Asher being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk and Ryan Mountcastle and DJ Stewart being reassigned to minor league camp. There still haven’t been any cuts that are really answering the big questions about the position battles.

Around the blogO’sphere

Mike Wright Jr. states case for an Orioles rotation spot in first relief outing of spring (Baltimore Sun)
If you are wondering, we’ve now reached the “praising Mike Wright after giving up two runs in three innings of relief” phase of spring training. A bad hop that couldn’t be fielded by a minor leaguer is blamed for the two runs here.

Notes on Trumbo, Rule 5s, Mountcastle, and more (School of Roch)
It sounds like Buck Showalter gave Mountcastle some tough love as the top prospect got packed back off to minor league camp. Oh, and Mark Trumbo will be back in the lineup tomorrow.

Orioles start initiative to let kids in free in April (ESPN)
You can guess about cynical ulterior motives if you’re into that kind of thing, but even so, this will be nice for the kids who are able to take advantage.

Orioles Opening Day roster taking shape (Orioles.com)
In Brittany Ghiroli’s current roster projection, Danny Valencia is the utility infielder. Um, well… really? Wright is projected as the fifth starter, with two Rule 5 picks, Nestor Cortes and Jose Mesa, making the bullpen.

If Alex Cobb hasn’t ruled out Baltimore, the Orioles should rule him in (Baltimore Sun)
Peter Schmuck thinks the Orioles should go out of the organization for a different fifth starter. I’m less sold on Cobb than he is, but it would at least be a sign that the Orioles want to do something.

Dylan Bundy talks about his start against Pittsburgh (Steve Melewski)
Yesterday, Bundy became the first Orioles starter to be pushed five innings this spring. Here’s what he had to say about the outing.

Ken Singleton retiring from MLB broadcasting (MLB.com)
The longtime Oriole has been making Yankees broadcasts somewhat tolerable for some time, but he’s hanging up the microphone after this season.

Birthdays and anniversaries

One lone former Oriole has a birthday today: 1999-2000 first baseman Will Clark. He turns 54 today, so happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: anti-nepotism pope Innocent XII (1615), Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard (1911), one-hit wonder Scatman John (1942), actor William H. Macy (1950), rapper Common (1972), and gold medal skiier Mikaela Shiffrin (1995).

On this day in history…

In 1567, a Spanish force defeated and killed all of the prisoners of a Dutch rebel force in the Battle of Oosterweel. This is generally regarded as the beginning of the Eighty Years’ War, or the Dutch War of Independence.

In 1781, astronomer William Herschel discovered a body that he eventually determined to be a previously unknown planet: Uranus. Herschel initially called this planet “Georgium sidus” (Georgian star, after Revolutionary War loser King George III) but this name did not stick.

In 1862, the American government forbade army officers from returning any fugitive slaves.

In 1881, Russian Tsar Alexander II was assassinated near his palace when a bomb was thrown at him. Alexander’s reign of 26 years saw, among other things, the emancipation of Russian serfs and the sale of Alaska to the United States.

In 1954, with a significant artillery barrage, Viet Minh forces launched their attack against the French defenders at Dien Bien Phu, a battle that ultimately resulted in the French departure from Indochina.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 13 – or at least, until something happens later, even if it doesn’t count. Have a safe Tuesday.