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Friday Bird Droppings

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Tireless effort fueled rise of O's Machado | News
"He had no interest in toys and little use for television, other than the display clock that let him know when it was time to start the daily stakeout. And sure enough, by the time Geovany Brito came home from his job as a shipping coordinator, 5-year-old Manny Machado would already be across the street in front of his uncle's house, glove and bat in tow."

Wieters has much to be pleased with and much to work on -
"But as he evaluates the first 213 games of his major league career, Matt Wieters acknowledges that while he has been pleased with the progress of certain aspects of his game, such as his defense, he hasn't met his own overall expectations, never mind any bestowed on him by fans and baseball pundits."

Orioles Insider: Revisiting the sophomore season of Matt Wieters
"Hopefully, I can keep finishing strong. The good thing is I have negatives and positives to take in the offseason. There are enough things I need to work on and enough things I can look at and say, ‘I need to do this every day.’ The offseason is about making the negatives into the positives. That’s how you get better."

Orioles Insider: Britton, Mahoney will receive top honor
"First baseman Joe Mahoney will receive the Brooks Robinson Award, given to the organization’s top minor league position player. Starter Zach Britton will be the winner of the Jim Palmer Award, presented to the organization’s top minor league pitcher."

Orioles Insider: Cal Ripken Jr. can rest easy ... 
"Looks like he'll be keeping that streak thing for a little longer. Milwaukee's Prince Fielder, who had been the active consecutive-games-played leader at 327, saw his streak end Monday because of the flu. Fielder was the only player in 2009 to appear in all 162 games." The flu, huh? Sure.

Pitching has led the Orioles turnaround - Carroll County Times
"There’s no secret as to why the Orioles have had so much success in Buck Showalter’s first 41 games as manager. Pitching, pitching and pitching. Baltimore starters have combined for an impressive 2.39 ERA (86 earned runs in 264 1-3 innings) under Showalter, and the team has capitalized to go 26-15 since he took over."

O's turnaround is real ... and fantastic - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN
"One's natural reaction is assume that Showalter is not just the Manager of the Year, but perhaps the Manager of All Creation. " As noted in yesterday's Bird Droppings.

Ice Cold Yankees Take On Red Hot Orioles | Epoch Times
"So now the Yankees face the Orioles again before they head into what will surely be a grueling final stretch with a four-game series against the Rays, three-game series against the Boston Red Sox, and another three-gamer against the Toronto Blue Jays—there will be no days of rest."

Ed Smith Stadium challenge could be costly |
"The latest legal move from two citizen groups using the Sunshine Law to fight against public money being used to renovate Ed Smith Stadium might end up costing local taxpayers $6 million in federal stimulus funds."

Steve Melewski: Rowell had solid finish at Frederick
"The O's first-round pick in 2006, Rowell hit .275-11-61 this year with 25 doubles in 117 Keys games. His average was up from last season's .225 and his OPS increased from .620 to .756. "I just wanted to stay consistent throughout the second half. Consistency is part of the game. Brought my average up a little bit and got some key RBI's," Billy Rowell said."