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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the O’s are back in action, without Manny

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The Orioles will resume their 2018 schedule tonight with one significant absence from the roster.

MLB: All Star Game Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

I kind of zoned out during the All-Star break — did anything happen?

Alas. There will be a strange, melancholy feeling around Birdland when the Orioles take the field tonight in Toronto to start the second half of the season. Someone other than Manny Machado will be strolling to the shortstop position. The next day, too. And the day after that. In fact, in all likelihood, Manny Machado won’t be walking through that door ever again. At least not in an Orioles uniform. And that’s a profound bummer.

Don’t get me wrong — the Orioles did what they had to do by trading Machado, and by most accounts, they got a good haul for him. That doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye. The homegrown O’s prospect who electrified the team after getting called up at age 20, who developed into a superstar before our very eyes, who evoked memories of Brooks Robinson with his dazzling defensive wizardry, who helped usher in a new era of winning Orioles baseball, is now an ex-Oriole. He’s on to bigger and better things, and I’ll wish him all the best in trying to win a World Series with the Dodgers.

If he signs with the Yankees this winter, though, I’m amending my “wishing him the best” thing. I’ll wish him health and personal happiness and a team that goes 0-162.

Links

Did the Orioles get a fair return for Manny Machado? Here are scouting reports on their five new prospects – The Athletic
Dan Connolly, now of The Athletic Baltimore, weighs in with info and scouts’ takes on the five players the O’s acquired from the Dodgers in the Machado trade.

Scouts offer their opinions on Díaz - School of Roch
A bunch more scouts weigh in on the prize prospect of the trade, Yusniel Diaz.

More on Machado trade and talking O's prospects with J.J. Cooper of Baseball America - Steve Melewski
Hey, don’t forget about the prospects who were already in the Orioles’ system before the trade! Steve Melewski chats about a few of them with Baseball America's J.J. Cooper.

With Machado trade completed, Orioles turn attention to Britton, other veterans (Baltimore Sun)
Manny is gone. Zach Britton will probably be next. And a few other O’s veterans may be on their way out the door as the Orioles fire up the trade machine this month.

The Orioles should not hesitate to trade Mark Trumbo should an opportunity present itself – The Athletic
Speaking of newcomers to The Athletic, former Camden Depot writer Matt Kremnitzer has landed there, too. In his first article, he discusses whether Mark Trumbo has made himself a possible trade chip.

Ex-Oriole report: Looking at the departed 2017 Orioles at the midway point - BaltimoreBaseball.com
If you're wondering how the likes of Ryan Flaherty, Wade Miley, and more of last year's Orioles are faring around the majors, this story has you covered.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four Orioles birthday buddies, none of whom spent longer than two years with the team. They are 1995 lefty Mark Lee, 1999-2000 catcher Charles Johnson, 2013-2014 infielder Alexi Casilla, and 2010-2011 “catcher” Jake Fox. Remember that year Jake Fox looked like the best hitter in the world in spring training? Then the regular season started and it turned out that he...wasn’t? Good times.

On this day in 1993, Ben McDonald threw his fifth career shutout, a one-hit, nine-strikeout gem, in an O’s win over the Royals. McDonald is the only player the Orioles have ever selected with the first overall pick in the amateur draft. Which segues nicely into...

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

As a reminder of where we are to start the second half, the Royals pulled into a virtual tie with the Orioles for the worst record in the majors. The Royals are percentage points worse (.284 to the Orioles’ .289) but have played two fewer games. Both teams are firmly in sell mode, with the O’s having traded Machado and likely to deal others soon, while the Royals traded closer Kelvin Herrera last month and could move Mike Moustakas. This is anybody’s ballgame in the second half.