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Monday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are almost 50 games back

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The Orioles got swept this weekend and now they’re almost 50 games back. Fun! Today, an anniversary of Earl pulling a fast one, Adam Jones meets some little leaguers, and more.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in last place in the American League East. After getting their butts swept by the Red Sox over the weekend, the Orioles now trail the leaders by 49.5 games. They trail even the fourth place Blue Jays by 19.5 games with 43 left to play.

If you missed the latest loss on Sunday, that’s probably better for you, but make sure to check out Stacey’s recap for the not-so-lovely totals.

The sweep this weekend guaranteed that the Orioles will have a losing record this season. They could win every remaining game and only finish with 78 wins. Sheesh! The O’s are also eliminated from the East. As for the wild card, their “tragic number” - the combination of O’s losses and Athletics wins that will eliminate them - is down to just nine.

In their 119th game in 1988, the Orioles were beaten by the Athletics, 10-4. The Bash Brothers, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, each homered to power Oakland’s win despite the O’s outhitting Oakland, 14-11. Eddie Murray had three hits and he and Cal Ripken each scored a pair of runs. This dropped their record to 39-80, now four games better than the 2018 O’s are through as many games.

The O’s are now on pace to win just 48 games, if you round to the nearest whole number, which is six games fewer than that woeful 1988 squad. How do you end up six games worse than a team that started 0-21? Very, very carefully. The Orioles are up to the challenge.

It is still possible that there is a worse team out there in MLB this season. The Royals remain game for a race to the bottom of the standings. They also lost on Sunday to drop to 35-82, which puts the O’s either two back in the loss column or two ahead, depending on whether you want to think about it as avoiding the worst record in MLB or guaranteeing the #1 draft pick next June.

The good news is that the Orioles can’t lose a game today. That’s because they don’t play. This will be a merciful week in that regard, with scheduled off days on both Monday and Thursday with a two-game series against the Mets in between. The Mets, as we discovered on the O’s earlier trip to Queens, may be about as dysfunctional as the O’s.

Put it all together and the early days of this rebuilding business aren’t much fun. It’s going to be hard to feel like there’s any kind of upward trajectory waiting in the future as long as strikeout master Chris Davis is racking up golden sombreros and to a lesser extent as long as Tim Beckham is left to his own devices at shortstop. Oh, and if Mychal Givens wants to start pitching better, that wouldn’t hurt, either.

Around the blogO’sphere

The Mamie Johnson Little League team met up with the Orioles (Cut4)
These are the kids whose bus trip Adam Jones paid for. Great story! I wanted to make sure to start out with the good news.

O’s minor league report: Jean Carlos Encarnacion off to hot start after being acquired from Braves (Baltimore Sun)
This makes Encarnacion possibly the only prospect the O’s received in one of their July trades to be excelling so far. He has played in nine games, so it’s very early for all oft hem, but geez.

Trumbo sidelined with sore right knee (School of Roch)
The knee kept Trumbo from the starting lineup in a couple of the weekend games, though it didn’t stop him from pinch hitting in the ninth inning yesterday.

This weekend showed the enormous gap between the Orioles and the Red Sox (Baltimore Baseball)
When one team is the best in baseball and the other is the worst, you’re usually going to notice.

Orioles resume partnership with Papa John’s a month after suspending promotions (Baltimore Sun)
What, were they hoping nobody would notice?

Sunday Notes: Adam Jones on thinking too much, and more (Fangraphs)
Appearances from both Jones and former Oriole Nick Markakis in this week’s edition of the Fangraphs Sunday column.

Birthdays and anniversaries

In 1978, Earl Weaver successfully stalled a game for long enough for rain to arrive and wipe away a five run Yankees rally, with the Orioles being declared 3-0 winners. The rule was changed in 1980 to what it is now, that such a game would be suspended in progress.

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2007 five-gamer Cory Doyne, 2006-07/10 outfielder Corey Patterson, 2010 LOOGY Will Ohman, and 1987-91 pitcher Jeff Ballard.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: early Australian explorer William Wentworth (1790), physicist/mathematician Sir George Stokes (1819), movie man Alfred Hitchcock (1899), golf legend Ben Hogan (1912), and Under Armour founder Kevin Plank (1972).

On this day in history...

In 1521, the conquistador siege of Tenochtitlan ended when the Spanish forces of Hernan Cortes captured Aztec leader Cuauhtemoc and conquered the capital city.

In 1792, King Louis XVI of France was arrested formally by the National Tribunal, which declared him an enemy of the people. A month later, they abolished his monarchy and five months later they cut off his head.

In 1905, the people of Norway voted to end their union with Sweden.

In 1918, Opha May Johnson became the first woman to ever enlist in the US Marine Corps when she joined its reserve. She was first because she was the first of 300 women in line.

In 1961, East Germany closed the border between east and west Berlin and began construction of the Berlin Wall.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on August 13 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Monday.