First things first.
One year ago today, the Orioles improbably pulled off the greatest comeback in franchise history, capped by Nick Markickass hitting a two-run double off of
anusface Papeldouche Boston's closer. (Remember when he used to be really good?) It was also the greatest comeback of any last place team against a first place team in the history of MLB.
You owe it to yourself to take some time today to relive the wonder of BIRDLAND DAY, June 30, 2009. The original gamethread isn't particularly interesting: 500+ comments, the usual off-topic banter, and some typical misery. I mean, for God's sake, Rich Hill was pitching! It gets good when you switch over to the overflow thread, which commences with these seemingly mundane words from Stacey:
O's losing 9-1 in the fifth as the rain delay ends. Anyone still paying attention come on in!
Come on in? Who can resist, right? I mean, a 9-1 drubbing in the fifth inning? During a rain-delayed game? At 9:52 on a Tuesday night? SIGN ME UP!
Yet those who decided, for whatever reason, to stay on and endure the carnage were given a glorious gift of a comeback, the kind that will make you jump around in your house screaming at the cat and kiss your neighbor. It wasn't unlike the 91st minute goal scored by Team USA in the World Cup last week.
Of course, a day later, Boston came back to beat the Orioles, and the world began rotating in the correct direction again. But for 24 hours, every Oriole fan had something major to brag about. So take a look at the gamethreads and revel in our moment of glory, and be sure to view the post-game thread as well, which has some awesome pics (my fave is the one shown above, where dkdc snapped a headline on the crawl in Times Square) and where dayzd toe manages to make the entire team Birdland. Oh, and Oscar Salazar (who?) was voted MBP on the spot for starting the rally with a 3-run shot.
In honor of Birdland Day, tonight is Matt Wieters bobblehead night at the park. I imagine they'll play some highlights from last year's game on the ol' jumbotron.
Your Droppings are after the jump.....
Cal Ripken Jr. says talks with Orioles about front office role are ongoing - baltimoresun.com
As clipped late last night: "I love the fact that it's an open exploration and we're talking," Ripken said in a phone interview with The Baltimore Sun and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. "My goal truly was to be available to [his son] Ryan and to my kids. But you start to look at it, it's a short period of time and he's out the door and both are off to college. The talks are generating more not on the short, short term, but actually what the long term will look like. There's really no rush. They are ongoing, and they are progressing pretty nicely." This is good news, and I especially like that they're figuring out long term how he can help the club. -zk
Felix Pie and Michael Gonzalez to return to Orioles soon
Both Pie and Gonzo will be back soon: Pie to leadoff and play left field, and Gonzo to not close. Also BJ Surhoff has been approached about working informally on player development. "John has some other guys he would like to rotate through occasionally. We like to utilize those assets when we can," MacPhail said. "John has been keen on getting B.J. involved to some degree." -zk
The Numbers: Yeah, Adam Jones needs to walk a bit more - Big League Stew
Adam Jones' K:BB and BB% are both worst in the majors. Ouch. -Stacey
How Berken and Hernandez Emerged from the Crucible | Dempsey's Army
Heath at DA gives Jason Berken and David Hernandez a little love for their performances so far in 2010. -Stacey
b free daily: Vensel: Back soon, Felix Pie will get his chance to take off for Orioles
Pie is close to returning, and he’ll have the rest of 2010 to prove he’s capable of being an everyday player while Reimold tries to sort out his issues down on the farm. "We are interested to see if he can ... [be as adorable as ever]," Juan Samuel said. OK, maybe I paraphrased a little. -zk
The Schmuck Stops Here: O's: Dempsey's interview Thursday
In case you didn't hear already, Dempsey's interview was moved to tomorrow, and will be at PA's law office. More to the point, enjoy some comments from the Crazy Cult of Rick. They even have a Facebook page! -zk
Peter Schmuck column: O's uptick could complicate managerial search
"Nobody is going to put much stock in one big weekend by a team that entered Tuesday 29 games below .500" says Schmuck, but then he goes on to say he's worried that the FO will do just that. That they'll think the team has "turned it around", and ignore the fact that the team the Orioles swept is one of the only ones in the majors that might finish the year with fewer wins. And then Petey again trots out his ridiculous idea that Samuel should finish the year, while whomever they hire "stands on the sidelines for the rest of the season", looking over Samuel's shoulder. Riiiight. It's like Schmuck is trying to out-dysfunction the Orioles or something. -zk
'62 Mets share mixed feelings on losses | mets.com: News
Al Jackson, a member of the '62 Mets: "If any team could have lost a shutout, it was us. I know the Orioles are going through a tough time, but I don't think they can keep up with what we did. ... I don't want to hang onto [the distinction] necessarily. But I wouldn't wish it on anyone else. That was hard. It was misery." (hat tip: Britt Ghirolli) -zk
Baltimore Orioles' Jake Fox says Oakland A's took him out of comfort zone - Inside Bay Area
"Jake Fox didn't have the success he wanted with the A's partly because he felt he was being asked to become a different kind of hitter. Fox likes to be aggressive in his at-bats and believes the A's were taking him out of his comfort zone by asking him to take pitches and work counts." Great. Just great. -zk
Patience at the plate paying off for Wieters | orioles.com: News
"I think before I was being a little bit too aggressive before I actually saw the pitch. Now it's just seeing it and trying to hit it wherever the pitch is," Wieters said. "Instead of making up your mind before you go to the plate what you're going to try to do with it, just seeing it deep and trying to react to it." Well we knew Terry Crowley would never tell him to stop being aggressive, so it's nice that SHJ figured it out on his own. -zk
MLB, People Magazine and the Orioles announce winner of People's 'All-Stars Among Us' campaign | orioles.com
Casey Davis, a Westminster resident, has been chosen by fans across the nation for his community service through DeafMD, an online service that provides health education videos for the deaf. He will attend and be honored during the pre-game ceremony of the All-Star Game. -zk
Orioles Insider: Minor league game recaps -- June 29
Dean Jones' always-excellent recaps of the Minors. Winners: Norfolk, Bowie, Delmarva, Bluefield, and GCL O's. Losers: Frederick, Aberdeen. Josh Bell hit two dingers, one of them a grand slam. Baby Rhyno was 2-for-5 with a run scored. Chris Tillman picked up the win for Norfolk, with 7 Ks and 2 BBs in 6 2/3 innings, but also allowed three solo taters. Gonzalez let another teenager get a hit off him. Billy Rowell was 2 for 3 and hopes someone is paying attention. -zk