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Wednesday’s Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are making it difficult to keep watching

The Orioles should have won last night, but they didn’t. Elsewhere: a new podcast, finding a left-handed outfielder, waiting to trade Manny and how Mancini has impressed in left.

Baltimore Orioles v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Morning, Birdland!

If you have a friend who looks at the standings and says “Whoa, why are the O’s so bad?” sit them down in front of the TV or your preferred streaming device, hand them some snack mix and a can of Coke, and have them watch last night’s 3-2 loss to the White Sox. The way in which this team lost that game is exactly why they are in this situation.

Mark Trumbo is an awful fielder. This is a well-established fact. Buck Showalter spent the pre-game on Tuesday talking up Trey Mancini’s abilities in left field only to replace him in the late innings last night but leave Trumbo in the game. This was because Buck wanted Trumbo to hit in the next inning, but the team already had the lead. Those haven’t come around too often. Do what you can to protect it.

Mychal Givens has become the one reliever Showalter really trusts. He has been holding onto him like a safety blanket. Asking Givens to go multiple innings, especially after the high intensity innings that he threw on Monday night, in back-to-back games is a tall order. Someone else needs to emerge in the ‘pen and, even if they don’t, Showalter can’t go to Givens every single time they need crucial outs.

But the real problem continues to be a disappearing offense. That was not the James Shields that Orioles fans were used to seeing with the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s lost a lot of what made him special early in his career, but he shut the Birds down after two early runs. Manny Machado had a tough day at the plate. He’s allowed to fail sometimes. When that happens, the guys around him need to look like some semblance of a major league offense. Too many times this season it has been the case that if Machado doesn’t create something, the O’s bats go to sleep.


How do you solve a problem like Chris Davis? - The Warehouse
Camden Chat has come up huge with the support for my podcast. I cannot express my gratitude enough. You all are awesome! This week’s episode dives into the issues with Chris Davis, Kevin Gausman’s inability to hold runners, Caleb Joseph’s demotion and the Orioles overall organizational dysfunction.

Do The Orioles Need A Left-Handed Hitting Outfielder? - Press Box
The have had left-handed hitting outfielders this season. Anthony Santander wasn’t ready for the level, and Colby Rasmus looked like he was already retired. They just need a good hitter, regardless of handedness.

Trading Machado makes complete sense, just not yet - Baltimore Baseball
Sure? I mean, they don’t have to do it right now, but if they were blown away by an offer they should trade as soon as possible. Dan Connolly says he has heard the same from some front office types. This sucks.

Showalter pregame on Britton, O’Day and OF assists -
Sometimes outfielders rack up assists because the opposition doesn’t respect their skills. Mancini agrees. Don’t get me wrong, he is better in left field than I anticipated him being when he first came up, but it’s not always pretty.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday! I’m sorry to say that you only have one former Orioles player to celebrate with, and it’s not a good one.

Mike Gonzalez turns 40 today. He signed with the Birds ahead of the 2010 season to be their closer, blew two of his first three save opportunities and then hit the DL with a left shoulder injury that kept him out until the end of July. He wasn’t so awful from there on out, but his first impression wasn’t great. Between the 2010-11 seasons, Gonzalez compiled a 4.18 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 101 ERA+ and 0.4 WAR.

On the positive side (I think?), it is also the birthday of the Orioles fearless leader. Buck Showalter turns 62 today. This hasn’t been Buck’s best season at the helm, but it’s safe to say that he is still one of the best managers in franchise history and is responsible for at least part of the O’s resurgence from irrelevance a couple of years ago.

[Shoutout to CC user LeslieLCarey for reminding me that it was Showalter’s birthday in the comments. This post did not originally include him. Sorry! And happy birthday to Leslie as well!]

1999 - Brady Anderson is hit by two pitches during a first inning in which the Orioles scored 10 runs en route to beating the Rangers 15-6.

2000 - In a game against the Orioles, Rickey Henderson of the Seattle Mariners draws his 2000th career walk to become the third player (Babe Ruth, Ted Williams) to reach that mark. He has since been joined by Barry Bonds.

2015 - O’s pitcher Brian Matusz is ejected for having a foreign substance on his arm. He is the second pitcher, along with the Brewers Will Smith, to be tossed for this infraction in MLB that week.