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Monday Bird Droppings: Where it’s Mychal Givens’s birthday

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The Orioles won yesterday. Yay! Next, they head to New York to play the Yankees.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

The 2019 season is now more or less one quarter of the way through. There are 40 games down for the Orioles and 122 still to play. With their 14-26 record, the O’s are on pace to win 57 games over a full season, if you round to the nearest whole number. As we know, that is not a good record at all, but it’s still a ten-win improvement over the 2018 Orioles.

The O’s closed out their homestand on Sunday with a win to honor all of their moms. They beat the Angels, 5-1. Check out Drew Bonifant’s recap to see what you might have missed, including another Chris Davis home run and a strong performance from John Means on the mound. Don’t forget to vote in the Most Birdland Player poll.

Speaking of things the Orioles are on pace to do, they allowed one home run in the course of Sunday’s win. This puts the Orioles at 84 home runs allowed over their first 40 games. Over a full season, that pace would result in the team allowing 340 home runs, well ahead of the record of 258 home runs allowed set by the 2016 Reds. It’s a bad pace, though it’s a much better pace than what they were giving up three weeks ago.

There’s no rest for the Orioles right now, since they are towards the beginning of a 20-game stretch with no scheduled off days. The next time the O’s are on the schedule for a day off is May 30. Memorial Day will have come and gone before the next off day. Starts like the one Means had yesterday will make it easier to get through this stretch. Life is better if the bullpen only has to pitch three innings per night.

Next for the O’s: Three games against the New York Yankees, a team that’s just a half-game off the AL East lead despite their mile-long injured list. It’s ridiculous.

Due to the almost three hour rain delay before the beginning of yesterday’s game, the Orioles announced that ticket buyers for the May 12 game will have the opportunity to exchange their tickets for any Value or Classic game for the remainder of the season.

Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 114 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

Sunday Notes: Trey Mancini on his bats (Fangraphs)
The usual Fangraphs Sunday notes column includes a little explanation from Mancini about why he uses the bats he uses.

Chance Sisco developing well at Triple-A Norfolk (Baltimore Sun)
Sisco now has a .930 OPS for Norfolk, and he just hit his seventh homer of the season yesterday. Less exciting: He’s thrown out two of 22 runners. Brandon Hyde says Sisco is making progress defensively.

Bundy ‘not worried’ about his drop in velocity (Orioles.com)
It’s a thing, though. Saturday’s start was the lowest average velocity for a game of Bundy’s career, just 89.9mph on his fastball.

Orioles have ‘luxury’ infield at Low-A Delmarva with Cadyn Grenier, Adam Hall up the middle (Baltimore Sun)
The “luxury” is the description of Shorebirds manager Kyle Moore on being able to play both Hall and Grenier at second base and shortstop, which he credits for some of the success of their pitching staff. I’d be a touch more excited about Grenier if he was slugging higher than .357 in Low-A after being drafted from the college ranks last June.

The Baltimore Orioles are terrible... for now (Beyond the Box Score)
Our friends over at SBN’s saber-focused blog, Beyond the Box Score, are believers in the Elias/Mejdal rebuild philosophy.

Birthdays and anniversaries

One current Oriole has a birthday today. Happy 29th to Mychal Givens.

There are also a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2009-10 pitcher David Hernandez, 2008 four-gamer Ryan Bukvich, 1998 reserve outfielder Lyle Mouton, and 1986 utility man Juan Beniquez.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: author Daphne du Maurier (1907), boxer Joe Louis (1914), actress Bea Arthur (1922), author Roger Zelazny (1935), musician Ritchie Valens (1941), musician Stevie Wonder (1950), musician Darius Rucker (1966), and actress Lena Dunham (1986).

On this day in history...

In 1787, a fleet of eleven ships full of convicts left Portsmouth, England for its destination, Australia. The penal colony founded by its commander, Admiral Arthur Phillip, is today the Australian city of Sydney.

In 1862, during the Civil War, a Southern slave named Robert Smalls stole a steam ship in the middle of the night and piloted it, along with 15 other slaves, towards the Union blockade off the coast of South Carolina. Smalls was later named captain of the ship, making him the first black man to captain a US ship.

In 1940, during World War II, having raced through Belgium and the Netherlands, the German army crossed the Meuse River into France. On the same day, new British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made his first speech to the House of Commons after being offered that post, which he began with the following words: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.”

In 1981, Pope John Paul II survived an assassination attempt at St. Peter’s Square in Rome. The pope was shot four times, including twice in the stomach, but survived thanks to emergency surgery. He later lobbied for his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, to receive a pardon for the crime, which Agca received in 2000.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 13 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Yankees. The game begins at the totally non-standard baseball time of 6:35 in the evening, so don’t say you weren’t warned. Have a safe Monday. Go O’s!