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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles have company in the cellar

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The Kansas City Royals lost last night, giving them an identical 34-78 record to the idle Orioles. The race for the No. 1 pick in 2019 is in full force.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The Orioles, simply by not playing yesterday, no longer hold the distinction of the lone worst team in baseball. They now have a partner to share that title with: the Kansas City Royals, who lost to the Cubs last night to match the Orioles’ 34-78 record.

It’s pretty incredible to think that even in this nightmarish season, one that’s on pace to be the worst in Orioles history by far, the O’s still might not end the season with the worst record in the majors. The Royals seem to have fully embraced their tanking effort; their lineup last night included backup catcher Drew Butera — a career .201/.259/.297/.556 hitter — as their starting first baseman. At least pretend you’re trying to win, guys. Sheesh.

Both teams are on pace to finish with a 49-113 record. One of these teams will likely separate itself from the pack (in a bad way) during these final two months. But in the unlikely situation that they finish the season with identical records, the Orioles would get the 2019 No. 1 draft pick ahead of the Royals because the O’s had a worse record than Kansas City in 2017. Just in case you were wondering.

As the Royals continue their three-game set with the Cubs, the Orioles are back in action tonight, with Alex Cobb taking on his former team in Tampa Bay.

Links

Now that you mention it ... - School of Roch
I have no idea what that headline means, but Roch Kubatko tackles questions about how the O’s will approach free agency and the Rule 5 draft, plus the futures of Tim Beckham and Cedric Mullins.

Camden Depot: Checking Your Expectations of Victor Victor Mesa
Cuban amateur Victor Victor Mesa is the talk of the town, as the Orioles seem well situated to sign him. But Jon Shepherd warns to slow your roll before you peg him as a guaranteed star.

Can a new-look Orioles’ bullpen discover success of years past? – The Athletic
The Orioles have had success building strong bullpens out of spare parts in the past. With their three biggest-name relievers now gone, can the O’s work their relief magic again?

A look at the Orioles’ most significant trades with each franchise, Part 2: American League - BaltimoreBaseball.com
A team-by-team look at the Orioles’ trade history with every AL team, including the Astros (ugh) and the Mariners (yay!).

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You share a birthday with Mike Trout, who sadly has never played for the Orioles. But you do have a whopping seven O’s birthday buddies, all of whom combined are not even a fraction as valuable as Trout.

Those still with us are offense-challenged catchers Geronimo Gil (43) and Ryan Lavarnway (31); righty Don Larsen (89), who lost 21 games with the O’s in 1954 and threw a perfect game in the World Series for the Yankees two years later; and PED-suspended reliever Jason Grimsley (51), who had his house raided by federal officials in 2006 in connection with distribution of human growth hormone. You have three deceased O’s birthday buddies, all of whom played with the club between 1955-1957: outfielder Tex Nelson and right-handers Bob Alexander and Art Houtteman.

On this day two years ago, Manny Machado crushed three home runs in the first three innings of the Orioles’ 10-2 win over the White Sox. He was hitless in his next three at-bats, but I think we can give him a pass.

In 1993 at Camden Yards, Indians reliever Bob Ojeda made his first pitching appearance after surviving an offseason boating accident that killed two other Cleveland pitchers, Steve Olin and Tim Crews. Orioles fans gave Ojeda a standing ovation as he came in.