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Sunday Bird Droppings: Where the first half is finally wrapping up

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The O’s have one more game before they disperse for a few days. In other news, Brooks Robinson is rejoining the organization, while the Manny Machado sweepstakes are heating up or cooling down, depending on who you ask.

Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

We’ve arrived at the final day of the season’s unofficial first half. The O’s have one more game to play before everyone but Manny Machado heads home for the All-Star break. As for Manny, he’ll be representing the club at the All-Star Game, but will he return to the Orioles when the second half starts on Friday? Or will the O’s complete a trade before then?

The Orioles have a chance to do something today that they’ve done only seven times all year: win two games in a row. They could also win a series for the seventh time. They eked out a 1-0 victory in game two against the Rangers on Saturday. My game recap has the full details.

Links

Orioles bringing back Brooks Robinson as special advisor and community liaison - BaltimoreBaseball.com
In case you didn’t hear the good news, Orioles legend Brooks Robinson is back under the team’s employ, serving as a community liaison who will help promote the team. If encouragement from the delightful, genial Brooks can’t get you to go the ballpark, nothing will.

O's Yefry Ramirez, relievers shut out Rangers (MLB.com)
Brooks may have been the Orioles’ good luck charm as they pulled out a victory over the Rangers.

Baltimore Orioles narrow focus in Manny Machado trade talks to smaller group of teams (ESPN)
Buster Olney writes that the O’s have “made progress” on a Machado trade and are whittling down the list of teams, perhaps with the Phillies as the frontrunner.

Orioles likely to deal Manny Machado, but when? (Yahoo Sports)
And now, for a competing point of view, Jeff Passan says the Machado trade talks have “slowed to a crawl.” I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this thing to be done.

Jones remains unsure of destination or his decision - School of Roch
Adam Jones gets candid about his future, or maybe lack thereof, with the Orioles. As yet, though, the O's haven’t approached him about waiving his 10-5 rights and approving a trade.

Alex Wells on Futures Game honor and his move to Frederick this year - Steve Melewski
Alex Wells, the Orioles’ 2017 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, is headed to the Futures Game for All-Star week despite a so-so 2018 campaign at Frederick so far. Here, he discusses the honor.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have only one birthday buddy who played in the majors with the Orioles, that being 2005 righty James Baldwin (47). But if you want to dip into the minors, current Frederick Keys lefty Elvis Araujo is 27 today. Araujo has 72 games of big league experience with the Phillies, yet now finds himself in Single-A. Weird career path.

On this day in 2005, Rafael Palmeiro collected his 3,000th hit, a double in Seattle. The image of Palmeiro hugging all his teammates on the field, and getting a standing ovation from the crowd, is pretty much ruined by the fact that he was suspended for PED use just a couple weeks later (and he likely knew of his upcoming suspension as he was celebrating the hit).

The aforementioned Brooks Robinson hit for the cycle on this day in 1960. In 1996, Cal Ripken shifted to third base after 2.216 consecutive games at shortstop, making way for the immortal Manny Alexander. The experiment was abandoned after six games, with Cal moving back to short, but he shifted to third base permanently the following season when Mike Bordick signed.

2018 Orioles vs. 1988 Orioles

In their 96th game, the ‘88 Orioles outslugged the Twins in an 11-8 slugfest, although oddly, neither team scored after the fourth inning. Every O’s batter had at least one hit, led by Eddie Murray, who went 3-for-3 with two homers and five RBIs. Mike Morgan earned his first O’s win with four scoreless innings of long relief. That improved the Orioles to 31-65, four games better than this year’s club.

Race for the 2019 No. 1 pick

Team W L Games "behind"
Team W L Games "behind"
Orioles 38 94 --
Royals 40 91 2.5

Even with the Orioles’ win, they still hold the worst record in baseball, thanks to the Royals’ win over the White Sox. Kansas City, just like the Birds, tossed a shutout, blanking Chicago 5-0 behind Danny Duffy.