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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles aren’t the worst, for now

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Today’s links include various beat writers wondering where the heck the Orioles go from here. I’m not sure I want to know.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

It’s Tuesday. The Orioles still have as many wins as they had last week at this time — a whopping eight — after losing all six games of their West Coast trip to Anaheim and Oakland. The last time the O’s won a game on the road was exactly one month ago, April 8 at Yankee Stadium. Since then, they’ve lost 12 in a row.

They’ll put that road losing streak on hold for now as they kick off a nine-game homestand against the Royals, Rays, and Phillies. That’s one terrible team, one mediocre team, and one sorta okay team. Perhaps the O’s can win a few of these games, just to make their fans feel a little less miserable for a fleeting moment.

For those who are already keeping tabs on the race for the No. 1 draft pick in 2019, the Orioles no longer have the worst record in baseball. While the 8-26 Orioles were idle on Monday, the Cincinnati Reds lost to the Mets, 7-6, giving up two home runs to the 94-year-old Adrian Gonzalez. The Reds, at 8-27, are now a half-game worse than the Birds. This is sure to be a tight race all season, though. Buckle up!

Links

It's only early May, but it feels like a perfect 'Fall Day' in Birdland - BaltimoreBaseball.com
As Dan Connolly notes, yesterday's off day would've been a perfect time for the free-falling Orioles to make some personnel changes. But never forget Mark Brown's motto about Orioles-related rumors: probably nothing will happen. Indeed, it didn’t.

Questions — and answers — about the reasons for the Orioles’ dismal start (Baltimore Sun)
Jon Meoli examines how it’s all gone wrong for the Orioles and what happens next. It’s so depressing that the O’s have already necessitated these kinds of stories by the first week of May.

Manny Machado shining through dark Orioles season, but should he be beyond reproach? (Baltimore Sun)
Here’s Meoli again, using stats to back up what we’ve suspected — Machado has been kind of disappointing defensively in his return to shortstop, even though he’s been on fire at the plate.

Orioles need to regroup - and a whole lot more - School of Roch
Speaking of Manny, Roch Kubatko says "at least one elite pitching prospect is required" in any Machado trade. If a team offered the Orioles, say, two elite position player prospects but no pitchers, would they be foolish enough to turn that down?

Inbox: Are Orioles closer to a Manny Machado trade? (MLB.com)
Britt Ghiroli's response to a fan's plea to bring up young players: "What young players?" Ouch! But she's not wrong. Many of the club's top prospects are off to disappointing starts in the minors or just aren't ready.

Baltimore Orioles Mother's Day Gift Guide (Birds Watcher)
Mother's Day is coming up, so here’s some Orioles-related gear you could get her. The perfect gift for any mother who hasn't been paying attention to the Orioles' 2018 season.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have three Orioles birthday buddies, including one of the franchise’s best pitchers, Mike Cuellar. The lefty racked up 143 wins in his eight-year Orioles career, fourth most in team history, and had three straight 20-win seasons, winning the Cy Young in his first year as an Oriole in 1969. He was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1982. Cuellar, who died in 2010, would have been 81 today.

Your other birthday buddies are both turning 37 today. One is Alfredo Simon, who spent his first four years with the Orioles and was briefly their closer in 2010. Simon was involved in a bizarre incident on New Year’s Day 2011 in which he allegedly killed a man while firing his gun in celebration. He was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter. It’s also the birthday of John Maine, who started his career with 11 forgettable games for the Orioles before he was traded to the Mets for Kris Benson and strung together a few decent seasons.

On this day in 1966, Frank Robinson hit a home run completely out of Memorial Stadium, the only player to ever do so. The prodigious clout was estimated at 541 feet. As Joe Angel would say, “My goodness!”

In 2012, Josh Hamilton clubbed four homers in one game against the Orioles. Yes, but did any of them completely leave the ballpark? I didn’t think so, Josh. Hamilton crushed O’s pitchers that season (10-for-28, six homers), but the Birds got their revenge in the Wild Card Game by holding him to an 0-for-4 and beating his Texas Rangers.