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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are worse than last year

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The 2018 Orioles were the worst team in franchise history. The 2019 club might have something to say about that.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Hey, remember the 2018 Orioles? Remember how awful they were? How we watched their games while gritting our teeth and facepalming, constantly wondering what fresh tragedies would befall the club on a daily basis? They were the most woeful Orioles club in our — or anyone’s — lifetime, and one of the five losingest clubs in modern baseball history.

“Hold my beer,” say the 2019 Orioles.

Yes, it’s true—with a 21-53 record at the 74-game mark, this year’s club is actually one game worse than last year’s, who were 22-52. The Orioles have lost eight games in a row, and were swept out of Oakland yesterday by getting no-hit for the first four innings and giving up eight runs in the last four. Check out my recap of the latest loss, which includes an (entirely fake) conversation with Mike Elias.

Sporting a .284 winning percentage, the O’s are on pace to finish 46-116, a game worse than a year ago. That would make them the fourth-worst team in modern history. And we thought last season would never be topped.

Obviously, the circumstances are different. The Orioles went into this season fully knowing they’d be terrible, as they start an arduous rebuilding process. Last year’s Orioles were actually trying to be good. So at least this time we know there’s a plan behind the shoddy play.

It’ll take a while for that plan to play out, though. In the meantime, it’s going to be a long season.

Links

O’s get good news on Mancini, but get swept in Oakland - Steve Melewski
Fear not: the Orioles won’t be missing their best hitter for long. Trey Mancini’s elbow contusion is minor, and he’s expected to be back in the lineup in a matter of days. See, things are looking up already.

Chris Davis ‘just can’t believe’ Orioles teammate Trey Mancini isn’t getting more All-Star respect - Baltimore Sun
You don’t have to convince Chris Davis to #VoteTrey. He’s all aboard the Mancini All-Star bandwagon, and can’t understand why the guy ranks a distant 17th in the outfield vote.

In Frederick, Keys standouts spark comeback win in Carolina League All-Star Classic - BaltimoreBaseball.com
In case you missed it, the Keys hosted their league’s All-Star game on Tuesday, and a few of their nine representatives came up big. Luckily, one intrepid reporter was there to tell you all about it!

Appreciating Former Oriole Mike Mussina’s Greatness Ahead Of Hall Of Fame Induction - PressBoxOnline.com
Matt Kremnitzer breaks down just how awesome a pitcher Mike Mussina was. This is where I channel Mark Brown and note that it’s been 152 days since Mussina was elected to the Hall and the Orioles haven’t announced any plans for a statue or jersey retirement.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have a bunch of Orioles birthday buddies, including the much-maligned Kevin Gregg (41), who began his two-year O’s career as a closer and finished it as a seldom-used mop-up man. We never did acquire a taste for his pitching. The most prominent Oriole with a June 20 birthday is Andy Etchebarren (76), who spent parts of 12 seasons behind the plate for the Birds, serving as the main catcher for the 1966 World Series club.

Other O’s birthdays include 2008 infielder Juan Castro and 2007 catcher Paul Bako (both 47), 1985 right-hander Phil Huffman (61), and 1977 righty Tony Chevez (66).

On this day in 1970, Brooks Robinson collected his 2,000th career hit, a three-run homer against the Senators to lead a 5-4 win.

Race for the HRs allowed record (through 74 games)

Team HRs allowed 162-game pace Final season total
Team HRs allowed 162-game pace Final season total
2019 Orioles 148 324 ??
2016 Reds 123 269 258
2017 Orioles 112 245 242

In case you were wondering, yes, the O’s are still on pace to obliterate both the 2016 Reds’ MLB record for home runs allowed (258) and the 2017 Orioles’ franchise record (242). Game No. 74 was a rough one for the 2016 Reds, who coughed up four homers in a 13-4 loss to the Padres, two of them hit by Melvin Upton. The 2017 Orioles allowed two, both off Dylan Bundy, but beat the Rays, 8-3.