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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where we’re just waiting for the trades

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The Orioles’ self-imposed Memorial Day benchmark has passed, and they are officially terrible. When will the trades begin?

MLB: Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The 2018 season has hit the one-third mark, with the Orioles playing their 54th game yesterday, and it turns out the O’s are indeed terrible. Who could’ve guessed? Their 17-37 record is the second-worst in baseball — with the O’s one percentage point better than the 16-35 Chicago White Sox — and they’re 20 games out of first place before June has even arrived.

The Orioles’ Memorial Day loss was emblematic of their entire season to date: a thoroughly lifeless, punchless affair in which the O’s never seemed to be competitive. Check out Mark Brown’s recap for the full details.

At this point, the team’s problems are painfully obvious to anyone who has watched more than an inning of Orioles baseball this season. How the Orioles will fix those problems — or how hard they’ll even attempt to fix them — will dominate the O’s news cycle for the foreseeable future.

Links

A third of the season is officially over - and the Orioles need to face reality - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly has seen enough. He says it’s time for the Orioles to spend the rest of the season building for the future, if that weren’t obvious already.

Taking a hard — and realistic — look at the Orioles’ trade possibilities with Manny Machado (Baltimore Sun)
Eduardo Encina runs down the top five contenders for a potential Manny Machado trade...

Does Memorial Day marker move Orioles toward changes? - School of Roch
...but Roch Kubatko cautions that other teams may not be ready to start trading, even if the Orioles are.

Orioles unable to support Alex Cobb with runs (MLB.com)
Alex Cobb says, “Collectively as a team, we’re clicking on different cylinders.” In that most cylinders aren’t clicking at all, sure.

Stats All, Folks: What is spin rate, and why exactly does it matter? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
If you’ve ever wondered what spin rate means and how the Orioles fare, here’s a quick primer. The author of this article seems like a pretty smart fellow!

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four Orioles birthday buddies, including two players whose O’s careers very briefly overlapped in 1998: Eric Davis (56) and Jerry Hairston (42). Davis was finishing up his eventful two-year stint with the Orioles, in which he was diagnosed with colon cancer in May 1997 but returned to the O’s in September while still in treatment, hitting .310 with a .782 OPS that month. He had an outstanding ‘98 season, batting .327/.388/.582 with 28 homers and 89 RBIs, including a 30-game hitting streak.

Hairston made his big league debut for the Orioles in September of ‘98 and was with the club through 2004, appearing in 530 games with the Birds. Once he lost the second base job to Brian Roberts, though, his playing time was more sporadic. The O’s traded him to the Cubs as part of the package for Sammy Sosa, and Hairston played another nine years with eight different teams.

Your other two O’s birthday buddies are righty relievers Dyar Miller (72) and Fred Holdsworth (66). They, too, were teammates in Baltimore, with Miller serving from 1975-77 and Holdsworth from ‘76-77.

On this day five years ago, Ryan Zimmerman hit three homers against the Orioles — but the Nationals still lost, because Chris Davis hit two dongs of his own in a 9-6 O’s win. Remember when Chris Davis used to hit homers? Or hit anything?

2018 Orioles vs. 1998 Orioles

In their 54th game, the ‘88 Orioles lost to the Yankees, 9-2. The Yankees scored all nine of their runs in the first inning, sending 13 batters to the plate. O’s starter Jay Tibbs faced only four batters, walking three and allowing a hit, and reliever Mark Williamson gave up four more hits and a walk, plus Cal Ripken made a costly error at shortstop that allowed six unearned runs to score. The ineptitude of the ‘88 Orioles rubbed off even on Hall of Famers.

Williamson ended up with a bizarre pitching line that day: six innings, five runs, zero earned runs. The loss dropped the Orioles to 30 games under .500, at 12-42. They were five games worse than the 2018 Orioles at the same point.