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Monday Bird Droppings: Where a Zach Britton trade draws closer

The Orioles can’t stop losing games in ridiculous games. The next trade could be coming soon. Today’s links: Chances in the bullpen, prospects getting on track, and more.

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Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in last place in the American League East. They now trail the division-leading Red Sox by a whopping 41.5 games and even the fourth place Blue Jays by 19 games. Even the 1988 Orioles only finished 34.5 games out of first place. July isn’t over and the O’s have blown by that.

Speaking of the 1988 squad, in their 100th game, they beat the Indians, 5-2. Mickey Tettleton had three hits and each Ripken brother drove in a run to support Oswaldo Peraza’s 8.1 inning outing. This improved their record to 32-68. That’s now four games better than the 2018 O’s record of 28-72.

Worse still, the 2018 Orioles, winless since the all-Star break and on the wrong end of eleven different sweeps of three or more games, are now on pace to win just 45 games, nine fewer than what was previously the worst Orioles team we could imagine.

In the race to avoid the worst record in MLB - or, depending on how you look at it, the race to get the #1 draft pick next year, the Orioles were helped (or hurt) by the Royals winning three straight coming out of the break. The O’s are now three games worse than the Royals in the standings.

If you weren’t watching on Sunday afternoon as the O’s were beaten by the Blue Jays, 5-4, that’s probably better for you. It wasn’t pretty. Check out my recap for the not-so-lovely totals of the latest loss. Those same division-leading Red Sox await in the next three games. The O’s can get back within 40 games with a sweep, baby!

The O’s might be trying to pull off that feat in the aftermath of another trade. Reports sure make it sound like the O’s are looking to strike on a Zach Britton trade within the next few days. Fast for the Orioles is different than fast for other teams, but still. There’s no All-Star Game to add any wrinkles this time around. All they have to do is trade him. The Sox are one of the interested teams. He might just have to switch clubhouses. That would be weird.

Around the blogO’sphere

Manny Machado on trade secrets, meeting LeBron (USA Today)
Machado’s version of the days surrounding the big trade. Sure sounds like everyone who believed he was pulled from the last game before the All-Star break because of a close trade was correct. Others were knowingly perpetuating an untruth.

Cashner on getting pulled, Brach on his struggles after loss (Steve Melewski)
Andrew Cashner appeared to be a bit perturbed as he was pulled from the game after 5.1 innings with 79 pitches thrown, but he sounded a bit more understanding by game’s end.

Brach has rocky outing in Orioles loss but says trade talks aren’t to blame (Baltimore Baseball)
Brach’s pitching would certainly seem to have quieted any trade talks.

Dodgers’ bullpen arms are leading concern as trade deadline looms (Los Angeles Times)
Brach’s name does briefly come up in this article, though it seems the Dodgers are more interested in Zach Britton, as are most teams, I imagine.

This, that, and the other (School of Roch)
If you’re still looking to hear more scout takes on the players the Orioles got back from the Dodgers for Manny Machado, Roch has got you covered.

Orioles rebuild will likely create opportunities in bullpen, but late-inning options still unclear (Baltimore Sun)
It created an opportunity for Tanner Scott yesterday. The opportunity did not go well for the Orioles.

Minor league report: Top picks Rodriguez, Sedlock impressive in Gulf Coast League (Baltimore Sun)
Maybe just a trifle more interesting for Grayson Rodriguez, who was drafted out of high school this year, to be impressive in the GCL than Cody Sedlock, who was drafted out of college two years ago, but he’s got to get back on track somewhere.

Birthdays and anniversaries

In 2013, the Orioles made the lamentable decision to acquire reliever Francisco Rodriguez in exchange for Nick Delmonico. Rodriguez’s unusually low BABIP and HR/FB% and unusually high LOB% all headed in the wrong direction immediately upon arriving in Baltimore and two years later the Orioles did almost exactly the same trade with the Brewers, just for a position player instead when they acquired Gerardo Parra, having learned apparently nothing.

Of all of the players to ever play in a game for the Orioles, not a single one has ever had a birthday today.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today may not include any ex-O’s, but they do include these luminaries: Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie (1892), baseball Hall of Famers Pee Wee Reese (1918) and Don Drysdale (1936), actor Woody Harrelson (1961), Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash (1965), actor Marlon Wayans (1972), actress Michelle Williams (1982), and actor Daniel Radcliffe (1989).

On this day in history...

In 1829, Mr. William Austin Burt received a patent for his typographer, which was the precursor to the typewriter.

In 1903, the Ford Motor Company sold its first car.

In 1914, in the aftermath of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia with a series of demands which were to be met in 48 hours or Austria-Hungary would declare war. Unsatisfied with Serbia’s response, they declared war on July 28. The resulting conflict, which we now call World War I, led to the deaths of 20 million people.

In 1982, a helicopter accident during the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie led to the deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two child actors, Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen. A special effects explosion was detonated too close to the helicopter, causing the crash.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 23 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Red Sox, and maybe even if they trade somebody else. Have a safe Monday. Go O’s!