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Monday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are still sinking

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Today in 1861, the MD legislature voted against seceding from the Union. Today’s Orioles will not be able to secede from last place since they’re 1.5 games behind 4th place.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Minnesota Twins Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

The Orioles still have some problems. The biggest of those problems, though certainly not the only one, is that they can’t stop giving up home runs. It’s added up to their being in last place in the AL East, nine games back of the leading Rays, 1.5 games back of the fourth place Red Sox. They’re racing towards the worst record in MLB, though they’re not there yet. Their .345 winning percentage is third-worst in the league.

A Sunday loss to the Twins sealed a season sweep. That’s only six games, but it’s still ridiculous to not even be able to win one game against a team in six tries. Check out Drew Bonifant’s recap of the game to see what you missed in a 4-1 loss, including Chris Davis hitting his third home run of the year. No, really!

Orioles pitchers gave up another two home runs in the game. That was specifically Dylan Bundy, who’s now tied for the team lead in home runs allowed with nine. At the rate the rest of the rotation is going, though, the only thing that needs to happen for somebody else to pass him is for somebody else to pitch.

With 71 home runs allowed in 29 games, the Orioles keep claiming new records. That includes most home runs ever allowed in one month and most home runs ever allowed before May 1. They’re on pace to give up about 397 home runs over a full season, which would absolutely shatter the existing record of 258 homers allowed by the 2016 Reds.

If you weren’t tuned in to the O’s over the weekend, you may have missed the flurry of roster moves on Sunday morning. Alex Cobb is back on the injured list, Jesus Sucre has been designated for assignment, and Branden Kline and Austin Wynns are back with the MLB club. If you blinked, you missed Luis Ortiz being on the roster for a day. He didn’t pitch before being sent back to the minors. Who will take his place is not yet known.

Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 97 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

Orioles claim Shawn Armstrong off waivers (School of Roch)
Armstrong, a reliever, was kinda-sorta traded to Seattle for Mike Wright, who was his teammate at East Carolina University before each was drafted in 2011. Wright was a third round pick. Armstrong was selected in the 18th round.

Orioles young pitchers learning how, and how not, to pitch in major leagues (Baltimore Sun)
There’s a lot more of “how not” going on right now than the other one.

Inbox: Is Rickard the answer in center field? (Orioles.com)
This question being asked is one of the many signs that this is and will continue to be a not very good baseball team this season.

Quotes from the O’s following yesterday’s loss (Steve Melewski)
Following the game, Chris Davis said, “Unless we want the season to go on and have a repeat of last year, we’ve gotta do something to figure it out, and do so quickly.” He is not wrong about that.

O’s top pitching prospect DL Hall showing ‘a lot of positive things to like’ at Frederick (Baltimore Sun)
If the Orioles are going to start turning this ship around in 2021, Hall might be one of the guys to show up and help make that happen. So here’s hoping he keeps showing positive things at Frederick.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Today in 1988, the Orioles finally snapped their winless streak to begin the season. They beat the White Sox, 9-0, to improve to 1-21. Future Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray both homered in the game. Pitchers Mark Williamson and Dave Schmidt combined for a four-hit shutout.

The 2019 Orioles are now on a pace to win 56 games, two more than that woeful 1988 squad, though still nine more than the even worse 2018 squad.

In 2015, the Orioles also played the White Sox. The game in Baltimore was played in an empty stadium due to the rioting earlier in the week that followed the death in police custody of Freddie Gray. Chris Davis hit a three-run home run in the first inning, while Manny Machado got three hits and scored three runs in a 9-2 win.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2008 catcher Omir Santos, 1987 reserve infielder Ron Washington, 1987 second baseman Rick Burleson, and 1963-67 Hall of Fame shortstop Luis Aparicio. Today is Aparicio’s 85th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: newspaper man William Randolph Hearst (1863), jazz legend Duke Ellington (1899), musician Willie Nelson (1933), NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt (1951), comedian Jerry Seinfeld (1954), actor Daniel Day-Lewis (1957), actress Michelle Pfeiffer (1958), and tennis star Andre Agassi (1970).

On this day in history...

In 1429, Joan of Arc arrived at Orleans to try to help break an English siege that had been ongoing for six months. Within ten days, the English had retreated.

In 1861, the Maryland House of Delegates voted against seceding from the Union. In a special session in Frederick, recognized as pro-Union territory, voted by a 53-13 margin against secession.

In 1970, during the Vietnam War, American and South Vietnamese forces began an invasion of Cambodia, with the goal of hunting Viet Cong guerrillas there. Exactly five years later, the American military began Operation Frequent Wind, which aimed to evacuate all American citizens from Saigon before an anticipated North Vietnamese takeover that ended up happening the next day. You’ve probably seen a famous photo of this latter operation in progress.

In 1992, riots broke out in Los Angeles in the aftermath of the police officers who beat Rodney King being acquitted of all charges against them. Across three days of unrest, 63 people were killed.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 29 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the White Sox. Have a safe Monday. Go O’s!