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Friday Bird Droppings: Where it’s the Iron Man’s birthday

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Hey, remember Cal Ripken Jr.? He was pretty good, huh?

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles Michael Owens-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

You know, whatever further horrors may befall the Orioles this year and in the future, the franchise will always be able to boast that it once had Cal Ripken Jr. to its name. And nobody can take that away from us.

The Orioles Legend, Iron Man, World Series champion, Rookie of the Year, two-time MVP, 19-time All-Star, and first-ballot Hall of Famer turns 58 years old today. A little over a month from now, on Sept. 20, will mark the 20th anniversary of Cal pulling himself out of the starting lineup, ending his record consecutive games streak at 2,632.

I was in attendance at that game, and...wow, that was unexpected. Half the people in the ballpark didn’t even realize Cal wasn’t playing until he came out of the dugout in the top of the first and doffed his cap to the crowd. The standing ovation that followed was thunderous.

Also, that was 20 years ago? I’m old.

Happy birthday, Cal! May you soon be able to see a renaissance of the franchise you called home for over two decades.

Links

“I could just feel the energy coming off him”: How 5-foot-8 Cedric Mullins blazed into Camden Yards – The Athletic
Dan Connolly offers a fantastic deep dive into Cedric Mullins’ back story, tracing his journey from his Georgia high school to the major leagues.

Thoughts on yesterday's game, Castro, Andreoli, Núñez, Davis and more - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko chimes in with his thoughts on various Orioles topics. I agree with him about Miguel Castro being a disappointment, although what Oriole isn’t?

With 52 players used this season, the Orioles are approaching a 63-year-old club record - BaltimoreBaseball.com
In case you haven’t noticed, the Orioles have shuffled through a ton of players this season. More than all but three other teams in O’s history, in fact.

Will The Orioles Set A Record For Falling Behind? Now You Can Bet On It - Forbes
If you feel like trying to win some money on the Orioles’ historic ineptitude, you can make a wager on whether they’ll finish 66 or more games out of first place.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! No Orioles besides Ripken have a birthday today, which is for the best, because would you want to be the random schmoe on the O’s who had to share a birthday with Cal?

On this day in 1983, Tippy Martinez picked off three runners at first base in a single inning, the only time that’s ever happened in baseball history. That highlight is still shown on the Camden Yards Jumbotron every so often.

In 2002, the Orioles — who had just evened their record to .500 the previous day — began a horrendous 4-32 season-ending collapse by getting swept in a doubleheader.

In 2012, Chris Davis homered thrice in a 6-4 Orioles win.

All three of the events I just mentioned happened against Toronto. Apparently whenever the Orioles play the Blue Jays on Aug. 24, something significant is going to happen.

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

While the Orioles were idle, the Royals were busy losing again, suffering a walkoff loss on a throwing error in Tampa Bay. Oh, Royals. They’ve now inched within half a game of the O’s for the worst record and are tied in the loss column with 90. No other MLB club has more than 80 losses.

2018 Orioles vs. the worst teams ever (final results)

Rank Team Losses
Rank Team Losses
1 1962 Mets 120
2 2003 Tigers 119
3 1916 A's 117
t-4 1935 Braves 115
t-4 2018 Orioles 115

Let’s check in on the Orioles’ progress compared to the four modern teams to lose 115 or more games. At the 127-game mark, the 1916 A’s bagged a win over the Red Sox — scoring two runs off Babe Ruth, even — but were still the worst of any of these clubs at this point. The ‘62 Mets were on a roll, winning two games in a row. The ‘03 Tigers were very much not, losing their 10th of an 11-game losing streak. The Braves were in the midst of an eye-popping 2-38 stretch and lost to the Cardinals.