Father's Day Bird Droppings

Just because the grounds crew doesn't get enough love at CC. - Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Chen is getting closer to returning, Roberts is getting closer to returning, Markakis might make the All Star team, Davis is in 2nd place in All Star balloting and Buck explains why he uses the shift. And Happy Father's Day!

Red Sox 5, Orioles 4 - chicagotribune.com
"Mike Carp blasted a two-run homer and Jonny Gomes added a solo shot as visiting Boston bounced back from two straight losses to Baltimore." Well, that sucked.

Phantom foul tip helps Red Sox beat Orioles - Extra Bases - Red Sox blog
"It was a big break for the Red Sox — especially because Dustin Pedroia never actually made contact with the pitch. He only thought he did. “The last four or five games, the ball looks like a baby aspirin coming in. I actually thought I did hit it,” Pedroia said. “I swung and felt something and I'm like, 'Could have swore I fouled that ball off.' And then I didn't. That's kind of how locked in I am at the plate.” And yet the home plate ump just went ahead and said, "Oh, you THOUGHT you hit it? Close enough for me! Foul ball!" I hate the Red Sox.

Nick Markakis joins outfield leaders as four Orioles highlight latest AL balloting figures | MLB.com: News
"Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis, who is aiming for his All-Star Game debut, has joined the American League outfield leaders in the third balloting figures for the 84th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 16th at Citi Field in New York." And Chris Davis is pretty close to Miguel Cabrera for the overall AL vote lead. And to think - how many baseball fans even knew his name 24 months ago?

Roberts may begin rehab assignment after road trip | orioles.com: News
"Second baseman Brian Roberts, who is on the 60-day disabled list with a right hamstring injury, will join the Orioles on their road trip to Detroit and Toronto next week and then might begin a rehab assignment." He might, just might, actually play a game before the All-Star Break? Imagine not having a Black Hole of Suck at 2B in the lineup!

Showalter hopes Chen is back by early July | Comcast SportsNet Baltimore
"Wei-Yin Chen threw off the full mound on Saturday morning in Sarasota, Fla., and he should be joining the Orioles in Detroit on Monday." And he may rejoin the O's before the All Star Game! I bring nothing but rainbows and sunshine today!

With defensive shifts on the rise in baseball, Orioles among leading proponents - baltimoresun.com
"But its use has ebbed and flowed. It's currently at high tide, with analysts such as Baseball Info Solutions using data to argue that teams are saving dozens of runs a year with the tactic. “Just more information,” Buck Showalter says when asked why shifts are spreading. “Guys feel more confident with it.” Chris Davis may grumble about it (and he does in this article), but if you can put your team at an advantage in terms of creating an out on defense, why wouldn't you?

Steve Melewski: Jake Arrieta talks about the possibility of a future bullpen role
"It has been frustrating to see all the success everyone is having here and not being a bigger part of it. Absolutely, if that is where the need is, I'm extremely open to that. I just want to pitch well. I'm all for it." Seems that Jake Arrieta is open to any path to staying on the big club an contributing.

What Has Changed? Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles - Fake Teams
With Manny Machado staring for the Orioles, is his former double play partner ready to follow in those footsteps? According to Andrew Ball at Fake Teams, probably not any time soon.

LATE DROPPING: Travis Ishikawa Exercises Opt Out Clause: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com
"Travis Ishikawa has filed a written request to exercise his opt-out clause and become a free agent, MLBTR has learned. The Orioles have 48 hours to add Ishikawa to their 25-man Major League roster, or he will be granted his release from the organization. The Orioles could also trade Ishikawa during this 48-hour period." So there's that. Not exactly earth-shaking, but worthy of note.

Today is the birthday of former Orioles Joe Saunders and Chris Gomez. And on this date in 1987, "in the sixth inning of a 6-5 Baltimore loss to New York at Yankee Stadium, Cal Ripken collects his 1,000th career hit when he singles to center field off Rich Bordi. The shortstop is the youngest player in Orioles history to reach the milestone."

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