Another day has dawned with the Orioles in last place in the American League East. They trail the division-leading Red Sox by 23 games and they find themselves out of fourth place by 6.5 games. The O’s .317 winning percentage remains the worst in MLB. They are the last team to reach 20 wins. The good news is, there are only 102 more games of this mess to go.
For the first time all season, the Orioles are on the right end of a sweep. Sure, their dispatching of the Mets for the past two games is a tremendously modest sweep, but still, a sweep is a sweep, and here we are on June 7 and the Orioles finally have one. It’s better than still not having one.
The O’s finished off that sweep on Wednesday afternoon with the unlikeliest sort of 2018 victory: 1-0. It is something of a miracle for the Orioles to get a shutout. I say that because it sounds true, although the actual truth is that it was their third shutout of the year. So it’s not unheard of. Check out my recap for the lovely totals. The O’s now have a 19-41 record.
Back in 1988, those woeful O’s lost their 60th game, a walkoff 6-5 defeat to the Yankees in a game where the Yankees starter was Tommy John - yes, that one. With one out in the ninth, Tom Niedenfuer gave up a single to Claudell Washington that scored Wayne Tolleson, father of Steve. This sent the 1988 O’s down to a 15-45 record.
The 1988 Orioles did not win their 19th game until they were 19-50. So the Orioles are four games better than their 1988 incarnation right now and they would have to lose the next nine to catch up. That said, the ‘88 O’s did manage to win 54 games and the 2018 Orioles are still on pace for just 51. Eventually, they are going to have to win some more or there will be a new most ignominious season in Orioles history.
Perhaps some of that winning can start over the next four games, with the Orioles now in Toronto to take on the Blue Jays for a set that begins tonight.
Around the blogO’sphere
With the Machado sweepstakes nearing, what should the Orioles expect to get in return? (The Athletic)
Ken Rosenthal thinks the Orioles might demand too much and never actually trade Manny Machado. That would cause this blogger stress.
Why it’s unlikely the Orioles deal Manny Machado to Yankees (or anyone else) before deadline (NJ.com)
You may not be a subscriber to The Athletic. This writer helpfully excerpts some of Rosenthal’s article to provide some more context to the theory - and cause me more stress in the process.
Showalter: Jones’ challenges in field ‘not something that has been noticed to an extent’ (Baltimore Sun)
The headline will surely cause consternation to anyone who’s been paying attention, but right at the beginning, Showalter also says that if he had seen anything wrong with Jones, he wouldn’t talk about it, so...
O’Day staying on rehab assignment for another game (School of Roch)
Darren O’Day last pitched for the Orioles on May 4. When he went on the disabled list, Showalter acted like it would be a minimum ten-day stay. The delays continue - the last update before this is that O’Day would be activated today.
Podcast: Mullins and Akin talk about their experiences, mindsets, and successes (Baltimore Baseball)
Cedric Mullins and Keegan Akin will hopefully be in Orioles uniforms soon. Baltimore Baseball got them on a podcast before that.
O’s make progress on draft signings and Rajsich on day two (Steve Melewski)
It’s hopefully a good sign of an easy negotiation with the Orioles first round pick Grayson Rodriguez and others with this reporting from Melewski.
Orioles shift focus away from pitching on third day to wrap up 2018 draft (Baltimore Sun)
The third day of the draft is when you draft for need with organizational filler, and for the most part, that’s exactly what the Orioles did.
Zebron graduates to Orioles (The Star Democrat)
The Orioles picked Eastern Shore kid Jake Zebron in the 18th round of the draft. The last time they picked a Maryland high school kid, he didn’t sign, so it remains to be seen whether the O’s try hard to sign Zebron or if he’ll go to NC State.
Birthdays and anniversaries
In 1998, the Orioles retired Eddie Murray’s #33 jersey.
In 2010, the O’s used the #3 overall pick on Manny Machado. It’s been a good run, one must agree, though its end grows ever closer.
There are three former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2000-02 outfielder/first baseman Chris Richard, 1999 short-timer Heathcliff Slocumb, and 1968 swingman Roger Nelson. Today is Nelson’s 74th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: anaesthetic pioneer James Young Simpson (1811), novelist Elizabeth Bowen (1899), Wienermobile designer Brooks Stevens (1911), singer Tom Jones (1940), actor Liam Neeson (1952), singer-songwriter Prince (1958), wrestler Mick Foley (1965), funny man Bill Hader (1978), and rapper Iggy Azalea (1990).
On this day in history...
In 1099, the Siege of Jerusalem began. Its capture over a month later led to the establishment by the Crusaders of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, a central figure in later Crusades.
In 1776, Richard Henry Lee presented a resolution to the Continental Congress which called for the colonies to become independent from Great Britain. This led to the rather more famous and binding Declaration of Independence, of which Lee was one of the 56 signers.
In 1892, Homer Plessy was arrested after refusing to leave a train car that was for whites only. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled against him in Plessy v. Ferguson, which endorsed the “separate but equal” injustice of segregation.
In 1938, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Nationalist government destroyed a series of Yellow River dikes in hopes of halting Japanese advances. The flooding killed more than 400,000 civilians and led to increased sympathy for the Chinese Communists in the affected area.
In 1982, Graceland was opened to the public, although Priscilla Presley kept the bathroom in which Elvis died off limits to the public.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 7 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Blue Jays. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!