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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are undefeated

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The season is one day old and the Orioles are in first place. Feels pretty good! Today’s stuff: First Opening Day memories, Craig Gentry’s instinct, and a walkoff celebration.

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles
“Draw me like one of your French girls.”
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in first place in the American League East. With both the Yankees and Rays victorious on Opening Day, the O’s are tied with those teams for first, a game ahead of the last-place Red Sox and Blue Jays. There are 161 games still to be played in the regular season, but for now, the Orioles are undefeated, and that’s pretty cool.

If you didn’t get to see the game, check out Tyler Young’s recap of the action, and don’t forget to register your choice in the Most Birdland Player poll. It’s close. Your vote counts!

In a neat bit of symmetry, former Oriole Nick Markakis also hit a walkoff home run in his own Opening Day action on Friday, blasting a three-run home run to power the Braves over the Phillies. The Phillies manager pulled his good-performing starter early and it did not work out. 2110 Eutaw Street hasn’t been together for a while, but they both started out well, and good for them.

More interesting to me still is the hilarious failure of the Red Sox on Opening Day. They took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning and their new manager Alex Cora pushed all the wrong buttons as his relievers gave up six runs in the inning. Too bad, so sad. May every Chris Sale start be met with brutal bullpen performance.

There is no Orioles baseball tonight, so the Orioles will remain undefeated for another day. Whether the Orioles stay in first with their 1-0 record depends on how things go as the Yankees play the Blue Jays and the Red Sox play the Rays.

Around the blogO’sphere

Adam Jones on the walk-off homer and win, plus clubhouse quotes (Steve Melewski)
“My little boys are here to come watch me,” Jones said. So I guess we’d better make sure that they are at every game.

Opening Day a mix of beginnings and possible endings for Orioles and their fans (Baltimore Sun)
The Sun managed to write a “talk to the fans” article without making it a “talk to the people we already know on Twitter” article. One guy whined about the netting.

Gentry’s clutch catch an ‘instinctual’ thing (Orioles.com)
I was confused and a little annoyed by Craig Gentry being in the Opening Day lineup. I’m OK with looking dumb if it means he’s going to rob a homer every time.

Jones adds to his Orioles legacy, thoughts on Brach, Buck, Gentry (Baltimore Baseball)
Dan Connolly is willing to dismiss the Brad Brach meltdown a bit easier than I am willing to dismiss the Brad Brach meltdown - though it is the case that a Davis misplay that should have been scored an error and a cheap bad luck blooper played big roles in doing Brach in.

For Orioles experiencing first Opening Day, a culmination of lifelong dreams (Baltimore Sun)
Richard Bleier is 30 and it was his first Opening Day. His exuberance about this fact is adorable. His one scoreless inning and picking up the win yesterday sure didn’t hurt!

Showalter on roster moves, Davis leading off, and more (School of Roch)
Four 40-man players were DFA’d before the noon roster deadline in order to make room for the non-40-man spring invitees who made the team. The DFA’d: Alec Asher, Stefan Crichton, Michael Kelly, Jesus Liranzo. Buck hopes they all clear waivers.

Yes, Chris Davis should lead off (Camden Depot)
Davis going 0-4 yesterday does not mean that Jon Shepherd is wrong, though I will admit I am not convinced.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Of all of the players to ever suit up for the Orioles, not a single one has a birthday today.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Byzantine-toppling Ottoman emperor Mehmed the Conqueror (1432), Salem witch trial victim John Proctor (1632), painter Vincent van Gogh (1853), heroic anti-Nazi diplomat Carl Lutz (1895), actor Warren Beatty (1937), musician Eric Clapton (1945), rapper MC Hammer (1962), and singer-songwriter Celine Dion (1968).

On this day in history...

In 1855, the “Border Ruffians” invaded Kansas from Missouri, ultimately forcing an election that put a pro-slavery legislature in Kansas. This was one of the many events in the slide towards the Civil War.

In 1867, under the auspices of Secretary of State William Seward, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for a price of about two cents per acre. At the time, Seward was mocked for this, with Alaska being known as Seward’s Ice Box.

In 1981, President Reagan was shot in the chest during an assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr. The attack wounded three others.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 30 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Friday.