Have you heard the news? The Orioles still have a winning record after three games this season! After an almost unbelievable weekend of baseball, the O’s, who won 47 games last season, came away with two wins on the road against the Yankees, who won 100 games last season. Baseball can still be fun sometimes. It’s nice when it is.
If you missed yesterday’s rain-delayed, 7-5 win in the Bronx, check out Stacey Folkemer’s recap of the action, including John Means’s first MLB win, and don’t forget to register your vote in the Most Birdland Player poll.
Last year, the Orioles were never above .500 again after winning on Opening Day. With two wins this weekend, they’ve made it at least two games farther into the 2019 regular season calendar, since they’re now 2-1. It’s not quite good enough for first place, because the Rays have already played four games and they’re 3-1, so the O’s are half a game behind for the American League East lead. They are in second place with a three-game trip to Toronto awaiting them next.
A funny thing happened to me watching the Orioles this weekend. Once they had staked themselves to leads on Saturday and Sunday, I actually like... cared whether they won or lost. After last year’s pathetic performance and the expected dismal season this year I figured that I would just be numb to whatever happened. I was certainly numb last year by the time May rolled around and it was clear there was nothing to look forward to or even break up the drudgery until the July trades rolled around.
That feeling may yet set in for 2019, because even in winning two games the O’s still demonstrated that what you thought their flaws would be are, in fact, going to be big flaws. Two starting pitchers have now pitched and zero of them pitched well. There are no sure things in the bullpen.
Chris Davis hasn’t dispelled any of the narrative surrounding his performance last year, so much so that during yesterday’s game on MASN, Jim Palmer was in disbelief that the Yankees did not walk Joey Rickard intentionally in order to have a lefty-lefty matchup against Davis. Nor was he wrong. Rickard homered! Still, “Joey Rickard should have been intentionally walked” is a wild phrase to say or write.
The reality is still there about the Orioles. They are going to lose a lot of games. But we can all enjoy the fun parts of this season while they’re fun. If the Orioles go on to lose 120 games, nobody can take this one happy weekend away from us.
It was a weekend where manager Brandon Hyde got his first win, was dumped in a laundry cart and showered with beer. Rookie pitcher John Means got his first win the next day, was dumped in a laundry cart, and presumably also showered with beer. Keep Mark Trumbo away from these guys so they can keep having fun.
All of this happened in Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees fans and media were derisively calling the Orioles a Triple-A team, where the fans started booing on Saturday and Sunday, and all of it is glorious for as long as it lasts. Maybe it will even continue through tonight, when the O’s take on the Blue Jays at 7:07. David Hess and Sean Reid-Foley are the expected starting pitchers.
Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 69 days ago. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey or erect his statue at Camden Yards.
Around the blogO’sphere
Brandon Hyde will mix and match lineups and closers for Orioles (Baltimore Baseball)
Davis batted seventh two times, was pinch hit for in the ninth inning once, and didn’t even play in one of the first three games. However this year ends up, it’ll certainly take a different path to getting there.
Orioles douse new manager after first win (Cut4)
Just look at these guys! I was serious about keeping Trumbo away from them. And here’s some video of some post-game soaking from Sunday, too:
Whatever happens this year, the Orioles absolutely flexed on the Yankees on the first weekend, and that’s awesome.
Mountcastle to get first base reps at Triple-A (Orioles.com)
If the Orioles do start sinking this year, it’s worth keeping in mind that the roster is probably going to change until things start working better.
Dylan Bundy makes 2019 debut Sunday looking to rediscover pitcher he once was (Baltimore Sun)
He did not discover the pitcher he once was, but the Orioles still won anyway.
Birthdays and anniversaries
There are a pair of former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2000 utility infielder Rich Amaral, and 1986-87 reliever Mike Kinnunen. If you remember either of those gentlemen, give yourself a cookie.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: anatomy studies pioneer William Harvey (1578), early German leader Otto von Bismarck (1815), composer Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873), author Anne McCaffrey (1926), and funny man Taran Killam (1982).
On this day in history...
In 1789, the United States House of Representatives achieved a quorum for the first time, choosing to elect Pennsylvania’s Frederick Muhlenberg as its first speaker.
In 1939, the Spanish Civil War ended with the surrender of the last Republican forces in the country, leading to 36 years of rule by Generalisimo Francisco Franco.
In 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, which both banned cigarette advertising on television and radio and required Surgeon General’s warnings on all tobacco products.
In 1997, the comet Hale-Bopp achieved its perihelion. This comet ultimately set a record by being visible to the naked eye for more than 18 months. It’s expected to return some time in the vicinity of the year 4385.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 1 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Blue Jays. Have a safe Monday. Go O’s!