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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are on the verge of 100 losses

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The Orioles might lose their 100th game today. Isn’t baseball fun? Today’s stuff: Looking at the Rule 5 eligible players, problems with two-strike counts, and more.

Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Today could be the day where the 2018 Orioles lose their 100th game. When any given season begins, this is a milestone that feels like the worst possible outcome if everything goes wrong.

If you are younger than 30 years old, you have never been alive for a 100 loss O’s season. If you’re younger than 35, you probably don’t have much of a memory of the last 100+ loss season from 1988. Of course, what makes the 2018 O’s so stunningly bad is not merely hitting the 100+ loss mark but the likelihood that they will lose 110 or more games.

It takes a lot of work and a lot of commitment to failure to reach that point. And, laughably, the Orioles began this season’s spring training trying to make noise about how they were going to be contenders playing quality baseball. That is the real whopper of all of this, whenever I stop to think about it. They really thought they could do it.

The cruelty of reality interceded before the calendar had even turned to May and we had to wait another eight weeks for the inevitable trades to begin. This season has been no fun since long before the O’s approached the 100 loss milestone.

All that the Orioles are doing in this last month of the season is confirming what we already believed about them months ago. These guys are a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad baseball team. They are not even going to give us the satisfaction of seeing many fresh faces in this last month of the season.

There is only the long slog towards a uniquely poor end, with little hope of things getting better next year. We do not even know who will be in charge of the effort to make things better. The truly interesting stuff remains at least two months away. Until then, there are 22 games left to be played and the Orioles are already guaranteed to finish in last place in the American League East.

Around the blogO’sphere

Pointless to predict future roster (School of Roch)
Beat writers embracing the ultimate futility of life is one of the bleaker indicators of a 110+ loss team.

Cashner damaged by homers, but real reason for his short start was failure on two-strike pitches (Baltimore Sun)
The Sun went for a bit of a deeper dive on Andrew Cashner’s disappointing Wednesday outing. When you don’t have a put-away pitch, you have problems.

Pressing questions for AL East teams (Orioles.com)
Brittany Ghiroli has a question for each of the AL East teams to answer in the rest of this season. For the Orioles, it is: “Are outfielder Cedric Mullins and infielder Jonathan Villar ‘guys’?” Maybe they could try playing Mullins every day to find out.

A look at some Rule 5-eligible Orioles (Steve Melewski)
A large number of Orioles minor leaguers are about to be Rule 5 eligible this offseason. This does not mean that they will face many tough decisions about who to add to the 40-man roster.

Is any Oriole untouchable in trade talks? (Baltimore Baseball)
Rich Dubroff asks an interesting question. I feel like if whoever is in charge has any idea what they’re doing, no one will be untouchable, but this is not guaranteed to be the case.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are several former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2004-06 outfielder David Newhan, 2000 short-timer Willie Morales, 1988 reserve Wade Rowdon, 1984 four-gamer Orlando Sanchez, and 1972 three-gamer Tommy Matchick.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: England’s Queen Elizabeth I (1533), Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard (1912), rock and roller Buddy Holly (1936), Dave Matthews Band saxophonist LeRoi Moore (1961), and actress Shannon Elizabeth (1973).

On this day in history...

In 1191, during the Third Crusade, Richard I of England’s army defeated Saladin in the Battle of Arsuf. That crusade won victories but did not capture Jerusalem; 37 years later, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II took up the banner for the Sixth Crusade, which ultimately resulted in a brief restoration of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

In 1571, Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, was arrested for being involved in a plot to attempt to assassinate today’s birthday queen, Elizabeth I, in order to replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots. Elizabeth, who had previously arrested Howard for attempting to marry that same Mary, did not take this kindly, ultimately forfeiting Howard’s titles and executing him.

In 1812, during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, his army defeated the Russians in the Battle of Borodino, the bloodiest single battle of the Napoleonic Wars. There were a combined 72,000 casualties - dead and wounded - between both sides in the battle, which led to the French capture of Moscow. Then came winter...

In 1940, Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe began a bombing campaign of London and other British cities. This went on for 50 straight nights and is now known simply as the Blitz.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 7 - or at least, unless something happens later when the Orioles play the Rays. Have a safe Friday. Go O’s!