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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are the worst again

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The Orioles reclaimed their title as the sole worst team in baseball with their loss to the Rays on Thursday.

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Well, it was nice while it lasted. For a few precious days, the Orioles didn’t stand alone as the worst team in baseball. From Monday through Wednesday, they stood side-by-side with the Royals for that dubious title.

But the fun is over. The Orioles lost the rubber game in Tampa Bay last night, blowing a lead in the seventh inning or later for the third consecutive game. Mark’s recap has the grisly details. And with the Royals having the day off, the O’s dropped a half game worse than them to reclaim MLB’s worst record at 35-80.

The Birds are the first team to reach 80 losses this season. Their next defeat will assure that they won’t finish 2018 with a winning record, so it’s probably safe to give up on that dream. That 81st defeat has a strong chance of happening tonight, as the Orioles open a four-game series against the best team in the majors, the Red Sox, who at 81-35 have almost the exact inverse record of the Orioles.

Links

Rickard makes another statement but Rays get last word - School of Roch
In his career, Joey Rickard has crushed his former organization, the Rays -- and pretty much nobody else. He burned them again Thursday in the Orioles’ losing effort.

How the Orioles can thrive within the international market – The Athletic
In case you didn’t hear, the Orioles have decided to actually invest in the international market! It’s a miracle. Baseball Prospectus’ Craig Goldstein offers his thoughts on what approach the club should take in that arena.

New right-hander Zach Pop gets off to good start with Bowie - Steve Melewski
Steve Melewski interviews recently acquired Bowie reliever Zach Pop, who I want to see succeed if for no other reason than his awesome name. Magnitude from Community would definitely be a fan.

Josh Rogers: Orioles ‘The Perfect Spot Right Now’ For Pitching Prospects (PressBoxOnline)
And in case you want to hear from another recently acquired O’s minor league pitcher, here's Norfolk lefty Josh Rogers.

See the Orioles Players’ Weekend nicknames (MLB.com)
The Orioles will be donning nicknames on their jerseys for Players’ Weekend on Aug. 24-26. Alex Cobb is being an ol’ stick-in-the-mud with “Cobb,” and Mark Trumbo isn’t much better with “Trum.” But I am a fan of “Papa Frita,” “La Electricidad,” and “Tato.”

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your three Orioles birthday buddies are Dan Johnson (39), who went 0-for-5 for the 2013 club; 2004 catcher and handlebar mustache enthusiast Sal Fasano (47); and the late righty Bob Chakales, who pitched for the inaugural 1954 Orioles. Chakales, who died in 2010, would’ve been 91 today.

On this day in 1963, Brooks Robinson’s streak of 463 straight games at third base was snapped when he started the game on the bench against the Washington Senators, with Bob Johnson taking his place. As far as Orioles streaks go, that’s not the most well-known one.

In 1999, the O’s blistered the Devil Rays by a 17-1 score, prompting Tampa Bay to bring in Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs to pitch. He got four outs, including a strikeout of Delino DeShields.

2018 Orioles vs. 1988 Orioles

In their 115th game, the ‘88 Orioles blanked the Brewers, 5-0. Jeff Ballard threw a three-hit shutout despite issuing seven walks and striking out just one batter, throwing 143 pitches. It was the first of two shutouts in his big league career. Joe Orsulak provided the bulk of the run support with a three-run homer in the seventh. The win improved the Orioles to 38-77, three games better than the present-day 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

The Orioles have taken the slightest lead for next year’s No. 1 pick, and that might not change this weekend. While the O’s face the unstoppable Red Sox for four games, the Royals will host the good-but-not-great Cardinals for three in the Battle of Missouri.