Sunday Bird Droppings

Let's focus on good things about last night, like Nick Markakis going 4-for-5. - Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Morneau lifts Twins over Orioles | Fox News
"Justin Morneau smacked a go-ahead single in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 6-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday." At least it was to one of the guys on the Twins you've actually heard of.

Steve Melewski: Ryan Flaherty talks about getting the chance to start at second base
"Any time you get a chance to play, it's exciting," Ryan Flaherty said. "Just to come out and try to help this team do what it's been doing the first few games, help this team win." Some real provocative statements from Ryan Flaherty. OK, maybe not. But find out just how many cliches he can work into one interview.

Orioles minor league right-hander Daniel McCutchen suspended 50 games for PEDs | HardballTalk
"Eddie A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that Orioles minor league right-hander Daniel McCutchen has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for two PEDs. Tests revealed Methenolone and a metabolite of Trenbolon." And I'd link to that report if it wasn't for The Sun's stupid paywall.

Orioles Q&A: Rill talk with ... Steve Pearce - Carroll County Times: Baltimore Orioles
Jake Rill interview Steve Pearce. That's why it's called Rill Talk. Get it? Admit it. You know you're laughing. No? Really? Because that's almost slightly funny. Anyway, Steve Pearce. Go read it.

School of Roch: A look ahead, and Showalter's theory on patience at the plate
"You cannot take until you hit. You cannot do it. You hit until you take, and that's the mentality people miss. If you put that in minor league hitters' and major league hitters' minds, they are not going to hit. It may look aesthetically pleasing statistically for a while, but you will suffer offensively. So, our guys are hitting until they take, but you've got a split second to make that decision." Interesting stuff.

School of Roch: Steve Johnson nearing return
"Steve Johnson threw 35 pitches yesterday in a bullpen session in Sarasota without any discomfort related to his strained right latissimus dorsi muscle. Johnson, on the 15-day disabled list, will pitch live batting practice on Monday. Assuming the session goes well, he could begin an injury-rehab assignment with one of the Orioles' minor league affiliates." So, Orioles starting pitchers, I'd say you've got about 3 more starts to show you don't suck before one of you gets replaced. And Jair Jurrjens had a pretty good game last night, going six scoreless innings with just one hit allowed. Just sayin'.

Chris Davis looks to break season-opening home-run-streak record against the Twins | The Strike Zone - SI.com
"Chris Davis’ hot start also put him in position to challenge the all-time home run and RBI records for the month of April. Albert Pujols set the April homer mark at 14 in 2006, a record tied by Alex Rodriguez the following year. Davis needs ten more in the Orioles’ remaining 23 games this month to join those two all-time greats." Well, make it 22 games, since this was published before Saturday's vast disappointment.

Full Count - Why Koji Uehara has been inspired by Chris Davis’ historic start
"Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara said Saturday morning that Davis has added some motivation for these early-season games. Why? Uehara evidently feels somewhat of a sense of responsibility to live up to the lofty standards set by Davis because the two were traded for one another July 30, 2011. "The season he’s having so far has been an inspiration for me," Uehara said through a translator." Oh, Koji, stop making us love you! You're on the Pink Hat Nation now! Stop being adorable!

It's the birthdays of former Oriole (and Baltimore native) Tom Phoebus and one-year Oriole Ricky Bones (admit it, you don't remember him, either). And on this day in 1996, "N.L. umpire Eric Gregg is given a leave of absence following a Sunday night meeting between A.L. president Gene Budig, N.L. president Len Coleman, and umpires union head Richie Phillips. Gregg, listed at 325 pounds but visibly heavier, makes the decision in the wake of John McSherry's sudden death during a game."

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