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Friday Bird Droppings: Where we wish the Orioles were the Caps

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The Capitals won the Stanley Cup! That’s exciting! As for the Orioles, uh...

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

First things first: congratulations to the Washington Capitals for winning the Stanley Cup! Woohoo! I don’t know anything about hockey, but I sure can hop on a bandwagon! #ALLCAPS #StanleyCupChampions

I know there’s plenty of Capitals fans among the Camden Chat crowd, so congratulations to you all as well. I hope you celebrated...responsibly. I’m glad to see a long-suffering fan base finally get to celebrate their team reaching the mountaintop. Forty-four years the Capitals have waited for their first championship. Soak it in, guys. Enjoy every moment.

Now, shifting gears to a team that’s as far away from a championship as mathematically possible...the Orioles. Blech. They choked away an easy win in Toronto thanks to a Brad Brach meltdown in the ninth, ultimately losing in extras. Stacey’s recap has you covered for all the gory details.

Links

Showalter on Britton's strong outing (game update) - Steve Melewski
Buck Showalter gives rehab updates and estimated return dates for Zach Britton and Darren O'Day. Of Colby Rasmus, he says, "We need to see something that makes you think he's getting into playing form." He didn't do that in April; why start now?

Orioles use 22 of 40 Draft picks on pitchers (MLB.com)
This writer says that with the Orioles' struggling pitching staff, it should be "no surprise" they went heavy on pitching in the draft. Uh, has he seen the Orioles' offense this year?

Camden Depot: What's Going On With Trey Mancini?
Matt Kremnitzer breaks down Trey Mancini's struggles at the plate. Are there stats? Oh, you'd better believe there are stats.

AL East surprise All-Star candidates (MLB.com)
This writer picks Adam Jones as the Orioles' under-the-radar All-Star candidate. If Manny is traded before the All-Star Game, doesn't Jones pretty much have to be the Orioles' representative by default? I don't see any better candidates.

Baltimore Orioles: A Case for Signing Hanley Ramirez (Eutaw Street Report)
Counterpoint: No thanks.

In the interleague era, how have Orioles' pitchers fared when forced to bat? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Pitchers should never hit, period. Here's what happens when the Orioles' pitchers try to do so.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four Orioles birthday buddies, including the late, great Mark Belanger, one of the best defensive shortstops to ever wear the leather. “The Blade” spent all but one season of his 18-year career in Baltimore, racking up eight Gold Gloves and forming a near-impenetrable wall on the left side of the infield with Brooks Robinson. Belanger, who played more games for the Orioles than anyone but Brooks and Cal, was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1983 but passed away in 1998 at age 54. He would’ve been 74 today.

Other ex-Orioles with birthdays today are former Rule 5 lefty T.J. McFarland (29), currently in his second year with the Diamondbacks after his 2013-16 stint with the O’s; 1980-85 utility man and famed one-inning catcher Lenn Sakata (64); and the late George Brunet, a 1963 reliever, who would have turned 83 today.

It’s also the 71st birthday of my dad, who’s been an Orioles diehard pretty much since the franchise moved to Baltimore and has held season tickets for every year I can remember. Happy birthday, Dad!

On this day in 2013, the Orioles drafted Verona native Federico Castagnini in the 30th round, making him the first player born and raised in Italy to be drafted by an MLB team. Castagnini’s career went as you might expect a 30th-rounder’s to go. He washed out after two years in the minors with a career .192 average and .509 OPS.

2018 Orioles vs. 1988 Orioles

In their 61st game, the ‘88 Orioles beat the Tigers, 6-4. Mickey Tettleton stunned Detroit with a go-ahead three-run homer in the top of the ninth after the O’s entered the inning trailing. It was Tettleton’s second home run of the game. The win improved the Orioles to 16-45, three games worse than the 2018 club.

Race for the 2019 No. 1 draft pick

New feature! Now that the 2018 draft has come and gone, it’s time to look ahead to the 2019 event. The Orioles currently hold the worst record in baseball at 19-42 and are in pole position for the No. 1 pick. Their closest challengers right now are the Royals (21-42, 1 game "behind"), White Sox (20-40, 1.5 GB), Reds (22-41, 2 GB), and Marlins (22-40, 2.5 GB). Keep an eye especially on the Royals, who took a first step toward a selloff by trading away veteran outfielder Jon Jay to the Diamondbacks. This race is heating up, folks.