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Friday Bird Droppings: Where everyone is talking about the draft

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In just three days, the Orioles will make a decision that could alter the entire course of their franchise. No pressure!

MLB: 2019 Spring Training Media Days Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Are you ready? Are you hyped? The 2019 MLB draft is just three days away. And for only the second time in their history, the Orioles have the No. 1 pick.

The O’s hold all the cards. The ball is in their court. They have their pick of the litter. Insert other cliches here.

Mike Elias has a humongous decision to make in his first draft as the Orioles’ executive vice president and general manager. With the right pick, he could add a franchise cornerstone who will kick-start the next great era of Orioles baseball. But with the wrong pick, well...don’t make the wrong pick, OK, Mike?

The Orioles, and their fans, are invested in this draft like never before. It’s hard to get too emotionally involved when your club has its first pick in the No. 10-25 range, as the O’s have for the last six years. You could end up with a good player, yes, but you’re not necessarily expecting a future star. Even when the Birds were picking No. 3 or 4, as during the previous dark era, it never felt like the team’s entire future was hanging in the balance based on which player they drafted.

This time, it’s for all the marbles. The eyes of the baseball world will be on the Orioles as they make a decision that could make or break the club.

Let’s do this thing.


‘Huge opportunity’ for Orioles with No. 1 pick -
Joe Trezza runs down everything you need to know about Monday’s draft. In case you hadn’t heard, the Orioles have the top pick. It’s kind of a big deal.

Jim Callis On Adley Rutschman, Why Orioles Shouldn’t Target Deep Discount -
In more draft talk, MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis is all aboard the Adley Rutschman train. I’m trying not to get too amped up in case the O’s don't pick Rutschman, but man, he seems like the perfect prospect.

MLB Draft Primer 2019: The First Round - Orioles Hangout
Orioles Hangout prospect expert Luke Siler gives his rundown of the top 34 draft candidates. His No. 1 pick is no surprise, but a few of the players he mentions could still be available for the Orioles at the No. 42 selection.

Thirty years after being Orioles’ only previous first overall pick, Ben McDonald has advice for who’s next - Baltimore Sun
The Orioles’ only previous No. 1 pick talks about his experience dealing with the pressure and expectations. I’d say he did fine. McDonald wasn’t the most successful No. 1 pick ever, but certainly nowhere near the worst.

Mancini on Yaz, Blaine Knight on Grayson Rodriguez - Steve Melewski
Speaking of draft picks, last year’s Orioles first rounder, Grayson Rodriguez, is pretty darn good. Just ask his former Delmarva teammate, Blaine Knight. Or if you can’t ask him, read his quotes in this story.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You share your day with Orioles Hall of Famer Tippy Martinez (69), who spent parts of 11 years in Baltimore and ranks second behind Jim Palmer in games pitched with the club (499). Martinez amassed a 3.46 ERA and 105 saves, fourth-most in O’s history. Your other O’s birthday buddy is 1988-92 outfielder Joe Orsulak (57).

On this day in 2008, Manny Ramirez tagged the Orioles for his 500th career home run, which was celebrated by a sellout crowd of Red Sox fans despite the fact that the game was at Camden Yards. I mean, seriously, look at this nonsense. Is there an Orioles fan anywhere in the ballpark? I think I’d forgotten how bad the “Fenway South” stuff really was.