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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where it’s still 2018 and the Orioles are still bad

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The Orioles remain the worst in MLB and that will stay the same today on this off day. Today’s stuff: Reminders why Adam Jones is the best, a strong performer on the farm, and more.

New York Mets v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in last place in the American League East. They remain 49.5 games out of first place in the division, having been eliminated already, and they are 19.5 games behind even the fourth place Blue Jays. What’s more, the Orioles “tragic number” for the wild card is down to six - the combination of O’s losses and Athletics wins that will eliminate them.

It’s August 16! Geez, you all. The Orioles are just so bad. The good news is that the Orioles can’t lose today, since they are off.

In the race for the bottom of MLB, the O’s kept pace with the Royals, who were also losers on Wednesday night. The O’s remain a half-game worse than Kansas City at the cellar of the league. If you missed the latest beatdown, you are probably better off, but make sure to check out Paul Folkemer’s recap of the not-so-lovely totals.

In their 121st game in the 1988 season, the Orioles beat the Angels, then styled the California Angels, 3-1. Future Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray each drove in a run as O’s pitchers, led by Dave Schmidt, held the Angels to just four hits. This raised their record to 41-80, now five games better than the 2018 Orioles through the same number of games.

This year’s squad is now on pace to win just 48 games, if you round to the nearest whole number. That’s six fewer than those same 1988 Orioles were able to muster. This year is no fun.

It’s essentially settled that this will be the worst team in Orioles history. They’re probably not bad enough to take down the record of the 1962 Mets, who went just 40-120. That would be even less fun if the Orioles somehow pulled that one off.

Around the blogO’sphere

Adam Jones’s bond with Baltimore means more than a ring (New York Times)
Everybody knows that Adam Jones is the best. It never hurts to get a reminder.

Orioles hoping Dylan Bundy finds command, and with it, limits home run down stretch (Baltimore Sun)
The good news is that Bundy didn’t walk anyone last night. The bad news is that he gave up a home run, and also seven runs.

What will the 2019 Orioles look like? (Baltimore Baseball)
The probable answer is that it will look uncomfortably like the last two months of this season, except maybe without Jones.

Orioles release Danny Valencia (School of Roch)
O! Valencia, with your blood still warm on the ground... that’s a song lyric from The Decemberists, okay. Probably shouldn’t thrown that one out there with no context.

Adam Jones on Cedric Mullins and playing in right field, plus farm notes (Steve Melewski)
Jones saying nice things about his replacement is just too pure for this world. We never deserved him, but we got him for a decade nonetheless.

One for the future: Evaluating Orioles pitching prospect Keegan Akin (Baltimore Sun)
Good news is not in large supply in the O’s organization lately. On the other hand, there’s Keegan Akin getting some great results in Bowie. It’s not nothing!

Birthdays and anniversaries

In 1969, Boog Powell hit an inside-the-park home run in the ninth inning of a game against the Mariners. Really! The homer came in Seattle against former teammate Steve Barber, though with the O’s winning 15-3, it wasn’t very important to the final score.

In 1998, Eric Davis went hitless in a game against the Indians, snapping his club-record 30-game hitting streak.

A few former Orioles have birthdays today. They are: 1995 infielder Bret Barberie, 1966-68 pitcher Gene Brabender, and 1955/58-60 outfielder Gene Woodling.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: soldier and diplomat T.E. Lawrence “of Arabia” (1888), author Diana Wynne Jones (1934), TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford (1953), singer-songwriter Madonna (1958), Maryland-educated sports journalist Bonnie Bernstein (1970), and movie man Taika Waititi (1975).

On this day in history...

In 1513, a combined force under England’s Henry VIII and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I defeated the French in the Battle of the Spurs, in modern-day Calais. The battle was part of the larger War of the League of Cambrai, which was waged over territory in Italy.

In 1858, President James Buchanan swapped greetings with Great Britain’s Queen Victoria over a new transatlantic telegraph cable. The cable’s service life, however, was over in just a few weeks.

In 1920, Cleveland Indians player Ray Chapman was hit on the head by a fastball from Yankees pitcher Carl Mays. Chapman passed away the next day.

In 1954, the first issue of Sports Illustrated was published.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on August 16 - or at least, unless something happens later on this Orioles off day, which it probably won’t, but hey, you never know. Have a safe Thursday.