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Monday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles had an improbable, fun weekend

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Against any expectations, the Orioles showed up and had a fun weekend against the Yankees. Today’s O’s stuff: Bleier on being a workhorse, Britton on his brother, and delicious schadenfreude.

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
There were a number of Orioles heroes on Sunday. Craig Gentry was one of them.
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in fourth place in the American League East. Their unexpectedly good weekend in New York has allowed them to avoid falling farther behind the division-leading Red Sox. The O’s remain 4.5 games out, because the Red Sox have been beating up on a sad-sack Rays team to start the season.

After the Orioles got their butts swept, mostly pathetically, in Houston, who could have imagined that they would storm back to win three out of four in the Bronx, a place where they did not win three games in the entirety of last season? Not me, that’s for sure - not that you’re surprised.

If you missed yesterday’s nigh-unbelievable extra-innings win, where there were improbable plays left and right, including Craig Gentry saving the game with a diving catch, hitting the go-ahead hit in the 12th inning, and an unlikely 1-2-5 double play that ALSO saved the game, make sure to check out Tyler Young’s recap and vote in the Most Birdland Player poll. Your vote counts!

With that out of the way, today is the first day of the rest of the Orioles season. This weekend’s drama will not mean very much if the team returns to Baltimore and lays down and looks like a bunch of jabronis against the Blue Jays. We always knew that the Orioles were not as bad as they looked in their first two series. Things turned around a bit in New York. Maybe they can stay heading in the right direction.

What’s really striking about the weekend is that they didn’t even really play at their best in a couple of these games and they still pulled off the win. The 14-inning game on Friday was one they “should” have lost. Sunday’s 12-inning game was absolutely one the Orioles should have lost. Their starting pitcher couldn’t even complete the first inning, for crying out loud, and despite this, the Orioles won. Sucks for the Yankees, huh.

Alex Cobb is coming this weekend. We might not have to endure another Mike Wright Jr. start. For this morning, at least, things feel pretty good in Birdland.

Around the blogO’sphere

Quotes from after the Orioles 8-7 victory over the Yankees (School of Roch)
Richard Bleier provided this how-can-you-not-love-this-guy gem to O’s reporters following the game, the third in a row in which he had pitched: “I told Buck I had nine years in the minor leagues, so I had nine years off. I’ll pitch every day the rest of the year. I really don’t care. As long as I’m in the big leagues, I’m available.”

On anniversary of trade to Orioles, Miguel Castro reflects on year that made him bullpen fixture (Baltimore Sun)
Dan Duquette’s dumpster driving is mocked at times when it seems like the only move he has got, but it can really pay off when he adds players like Castro - and, for that matter, Bleier.

Britton on Buck the manager, but not that one (Steve Melewski)
You may recall that Buck Britton, brother of Zach, is the manager of the O’s Low-A affiliate, the Delmarva Shorebirds. The elder Britton’s squad has started the season 4-0 and has scored 32 runs in their last two games.

Orioles’ offensive approach challenged as AL’s top teams offer fewer fastballs than ever (Baltimore Sun)
Teams have collectively adjusted to the Orioles hitters, and it’s going to be up to the Orioles hitters to collectively adjust to the adjustments.

Yankees superstars choke in the most brutal loss possible (New York Post)
If we can’t revel in the schadenfreude as the New York tabloid press turns its guns on the Yankees, what is even the point of it all?

Birthdays and anniversaries

In 1959, the Orioles became the first team in history to turn a triple play on Opening Day. However, they lost the game to the Senators 9-2.

There are two former Orioles with birthdays today, both noteworthy for being a part of the Orioles Magic 2008 revival video: 2006-08 pitcher Adam “Drop and Drive” Loewen, and 2008-09 reliever Dennis Sarfate.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: fellowship namesake J. William Fulbright (1905), Sydney Opera House designer Jørn Utzon (1918), Playboy founder Hugh Hefner (1926), actor Jay Baruchel (1982), and actress Kristin Stewart (1990).

On this day in history...

In 190, Chinese warlord Dong Zhuo, who had captured the capital, Luoyang, and deposed the reigning Han dynasty emperor, sacked the city before retreating.

In 1609, Spain and the Dutch Republic reached the Treaty of Antwerp, resulting in a twelve-year interruption of what would eventually be known as the Eighty Years’ War.

In 1682, French explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle discovered the mouth of the Mississippi River. He named this area Louisiana and claimed it for France.

In 1947, the Journey of Reconciliation, the first interracial Freedom Ride, began through the upper South in protest of - and in violation of - some Jim Crow laws that had been declared unconstitutional by a 1946 Supreme Court decision.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 9 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Blue Jays, although no one says that what happens is guaranteed to be good. Have a safe Monday, and go Orioles!