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Monday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles have four days off

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The All-Star break has finally arrived. Who will still be on the Orioles when they resume play? Today’s stuff: An enterprising minor leaguer, handicapping the Machado suitors, and more.

MLB: Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in last place in the American League East. They head into the All-Star break trailing the division-leading Red Sox by 39.5 games and they are behind even the fourth place Blue Jays by 16 games. In the race to avoid (or fail into) the worst record in MLB, the O’s are now ahead of the Royals by percentage points. Both are 41 games below .500.

In the 97th game in 1988, the Orioles were beaten by the Twins, 6-1. Their record fell to 31-66, now three games better than the 2018 team through the same number of games. The 2018 O’s enter the All-Star break on pace to win 47 games, if you round up. That is seven wins fewer than the 1988 squad, our previous benchmark for baseball futility, managed to collect.

If you weren’t watching the “first half” finale on Sunday, you missed the Orioles win for the fourth time in the last week. I know, it’s crazy! Check out Tyler Young’s recap of the 6-5 win for the lovely totals of what could end up being the last home game with the Orioles for players like Manny Machado, Zach Britton, and Adam Jones.

The next four days will be something of a relief in that the Orioles can’t lose another game until Friday. How will you be spending the Orioles-free days?

This week is quite the empty period on the sports calendar, though the cycling fans of the world can be excited as the Tour de France heads into the Alps. Well, starting tomorrow. Even the bike riders have the day off today. You’re still on your own.

Around the blogO’sphere

As Orioles finish miserable first half, many players fates are up in the air (Baltimore Baseball)
Sure seems like there’s a good chance that the Orioles of yesterday will not be the Orioles who arrive for the start of the second half of the season.

More trade talk (School of Roch)
Roch thinks that Zach Britton will get traded before Manny Machado, if the two players don’t end up in the same trade.

Futures Game a showcase of potential Manny Machado trade chips (ESPN)
There are a lot of games that would immediately get the Orioles attention that don’t seem to be up for offer yet. Will that change if the O’s hold out?

For Mountcastle and Wells, Futures Game was quite an experience (Steve Melewski)

The Orioles had two players in the Future Game. They didn’t get much gushing from the national commentators, but they had a good time all the same.

Orioles minor leaguer Alex Katz supplies customized cleats for All-Star Futures Game (Baltimore Sun)
I love everything about this story.

Nick Markakis has his timing down (Fangraphs)
Because I’m happy for the former Oriole getting his first All-Star nod this year, okay?

Castro struggles again with control, gives up grand slam in spot start for Orioles (Baltimore Sun)
Yeah, the Orioles won a game yesterday. Miguel Castro wasn’t exactly a reason why.

Birthdays and anniversaries

One lone former Oriole has a birthday today: 1966-67 reliever Eddie Fisher, who is turning 82. An extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: infamous baseballer Shoeless Joe Jackson (1887), RAF Battle of Britan fighter ace Paul Farnes (1918), football coach Jimmy Johnson (1943), five-time Tour de France champion Miguel Indurain (1964), funny man Will Ferrell (1967), and champion soccer player Carli Lloyd (1982).

On this day in history...

In 1054, Roman legates to Constantinople placed a papal bull of excommunication on the altar of the Hagia Sophia during a Saturday afternoon liturgy, marking the symbolic beginning of the East-West Schism between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

In 1212, prompted to a crusade by Pope Innocent III, forces of the fractured Spanish kingdoms of Castile, Navarre, Aragon, and Portugal united to defeat the Berber Muslims in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, kicking off a phase of the Reconquista that would see the Christian kingdoms almost entirely gain control of the Iberian peninsula by the end of the century.

In 1862, David Farragut became the first officer in the United States Navy to hold an admiral rank upon his promotion to rear admiral. He was also the first vice admiral and the first admiral.

in 1941, Joe DiMaggio collected a hit in his 56th consecutive game, a record that famously still stands to this day.

In 1969, the Apollo 11 mission, which would go on to land the first men on the moon, launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 16 - or at least, unless something happens later, which it presumably only will if the Orioles get around to trading somebody today. Not likely, but not impossible. Have a safe Monday.