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Friday Bird Droppings

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The sun is shining, the sky's a brilliant blue, the air is fresh...ah, the salutory effects of winning baseball. Nothing like it. The Orioles begin a west coast swing this evening against the almost as surprising A's who still have the advantage for the top wild card spot, but are also making a concerted push for their division. Those 10pm starts, though...I know how I'm wrecking MY weekend.

Plenty of college, pro and Premier League football, too, if you're into that sort of thing (and I am).

Orioles beat Rays in 14 innings to complete sweep | HardballTalk Still in awe.

Orioles' Manny Machado injects himself into pennant race – Can't help but feel this year sort or represents a changing of the guard around the league.

School of Roch: Good news on Hammel's MRI (with quote) Get well soon, bud!

Orioles manager Buck Showalter the same, changed - ESPN Buck is as Buck does.

Castrovince: "Happy Bird" returns to Baltimore for Orioles' best season in 15 years | News An homage to the bird which we have enjoyed putting on things this glorious season.

Success of Orioles and Nationals creates potential conflict for those who are fans of both teams | Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports There is no conflict if you have a soul.

Leveraging the Orioles Bullpen | FanGraphs Baseball Another exhaustive look at the O's pen design and usage.

MASN News & Information: Orioles extend throwback ticket pricing to Sept. 24-26 Toronto series Get in there, people!

On this day in 1987, Cal Ripken, Jr. was replaced by Ron Washington in an 18-3 blowout ending his consecutive inning streak 8,243. Cal Ripken, Sr. was at the helm.

It's the birthday of Chad Bradford and John Hester.