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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles finally get a day off

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The Orioles will not give up any home runs today! That’s mostly because they don’t play a game.

Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

At last, the Orioles have a day off. They have been playing every day since they had a doubleheader on May 15, and their last scheduled off day before this was May 9. On that day, they were 13-24, and after losing last night’s game to the Tigers, they are now 17-39. The only thing to say about that is U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no alibi.

If you missed the latest loss, a 4-2 setback at the hands of the Tigers last night, you are probably better off for it, but make sure to check out Stacey’s recap of the game to fill yourself in on the not-so-lovely totals.

Just in case you were wondering, last year’s miserable Orioles team also had a 17-39 record through their first 56 games. They lost their 56th game last season, racking up just four hits in a 2-0 loss to the Nationals. They faced Max Scherzer. That is less embarrassing than a poor effort against Ryan Carpenter, as happened to the Orioles last night. This was the fifth straight loss of an eventual seven for the 2018 O’s squad.

This record, over a full season, would give the Orioles 49 wins. That may be two wins better than last season, but that’s not good enough to actually make you feel like the Orioles did much better. They aren’t better in any meaningful way. They probably won’t be better in any meaningful way until they get new, better players, and that probably is not going to happen this season.

For those who choose to try to find the bright side of any scenario, here it is for the 2019 team: They’re still the worst team in MLB and thus lined up for a second consecutive #1 overall pick in the 2020 draft. Their fellow strugglers, the Royals, lost to fall to 18-37, while the Marlins won a third straight game to improve to 19-34. The 21-35 Blue Jays, who lost to the Rays, round out the “top” four. The Orioles are bad, but they don’t have this thing sealed up by any means.

After giving up a pair of home runs in last night’s loss, the Orioles have now surrendered 117 home runs in their 56 games, which would, over a whole season, add up to 338 home runs allowed. Yes, that’s still beating the heck out of the current record-holders, the 2016 Reds, who allowed 258 home runs. At least they can’t give up any home runs today.

Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 131 days ago. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey number or erect his statue at Camden Yards.

Around the blogO’sphere

Trey Mancini savoring All-Star attention, but has no plans to pay attention to voting (Baltimore Sun)
Something weird would have to happen for someone other than Mancini to be the Orioles All-Star representative.

John Means’ changeup means business (Fangraphs)
Baseball players whose success was unexpected are automatically interesting. Here, Fangraphs explores one of the O’s few good stories of the year, John Means.

Chris Davis thinks he’ll be back after 10 days on injured list (Baltimore Baseball)
No rush.

Mock draft 3.0 - two rounds (Fangraphs)
The mad men of the Fangraphs prospect team tried to game out two rounds of draft picks. Along with the obvious listing of Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman at #1, here are two other names who apparently might interest the O’s with their #41 and #71 picks: Florida high school lefty Hunter Barco, and Butler righty Ryan Pepiot.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Today in 1982, after not playing the day before, Cal Ripken Jr. was back in the Orioles starting lineup. This was the beginning of The Streak, even if no one knew it then.

There are a handful of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2013 four-game reliever Jairo Asencio, 1993-93 pitcher Mike Oquist, and Baltimore-born 1962-67 pitcher John Miller, who turns 78 years old today.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: cartoon voice actor Mel Blanc (1908), King of Swing Benny Goodman (1909), Bob Evans Restaurants founder Bob Evans (1918), guitarist Tom Morello (1964), actress Idina Menzel (1971), and music’s CeeLo Green (1974).

On this day in history...

In 1431, during the Hundred Years’ War, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake after an English-dominated heresy inquiry. After the burning, the English raked the coals to show her burned body to the crowd to prove she did not escape, burned the body twice more to prevent her bones from becoming relics, then scattered the remaining ashes in the Seine River. 25 years later, a retrial declared her innocent; in 1920, she was made a saint of the Catholic Church.

In 1814, the War of the Sixth Coalition was brought to an official end with the Treaty of Paris, which reset French boundaries to 1792, before Napoleon Bonaparte began conquering. Napoleon himself was exiled to Elba, from whence he escaped within a year, necessitating a Seventh Coalition, which also fought and won a war against him.

In 1958, two unidentified bodies of American servicemen, one from World War II and one from the Korean War, were added to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 30 - or at least, unless something happens later during the Orioles off day. Have a safe Thursday.