If you haven’t heard the news, the Orioles signed their #1 overall pick Adley Rutschman on Monday. It’s official now. You can put that 2% of your brain that is forever worrying about the dreaded Orioles physical rearing its ugly head to rest. It’s not going to get us this time.
With the Rutschman signing, the Orioles have a new top prospect. He’s the one. That’s what happens when you have the #1 pick and take the player who everyone thinks is the best. The Fangraphs prospect list, which has already updated since the draft, puts Rutschman as the #8 overall prospect in MLB. He’ll be introduced today. Perhaps in the afternoon’s press conference, we’ll learn where the O’s are planning to send him to start his professional career.
Now that that’s over with, it’s back to business as usual for the Orioles. That probably means losing. At least yesterday they didn’t lose since they didn’t play. The good news is that there’s another off day coming up again on Thursday because this week is one of those strange two off-day weeks. For tonight, the fun, such as it is, will be in marking Manny Machado’s return to Baltimore as a member of the Padres.
From what I have read on Twitter over the last few weeks, including from at least one personality at the flagship radio station of the Orioles, there are at least a few people out there who are making the effort to go to tonight’s game solely to boo Machado. It’s sad to know that anyone who is an Orioles fan would feel any need to boo Machado, who is only the greatest player to have an Orioles career in the 21st century to date.
Machado gave all that he had to every O’s team he was a part of, leading to two different seasons being ended with knee surgery. His call-up in 2012 was a big spark that led the team into that year’s postseason. It was a delight to watch him do his thing on offense and particularly on defense. He made it all look so easy even though nothing about any of it is easy.
It’s no fault of Machado’s that the Orioles management made a series of stupid decisions to the rest of the roster during his tenure that ultimately resulted in the big-money expenditure going to Chris Davis, rather than possibly to Machado, It wasn’t Machado’s plan over several years that culminated in a disaster of a pitching staff that ruined any chance for the O’s to compete in 2017 or 2018, his last two seasons here.
Anyone who feels the need to boo something about Machado should probably boo a member of the Orioles ownership instead. And even that’s pointless now that they finally got their act together and brought in a new front office who can help hopefully bring the team back to prominence. It’s a bummer that Manny isn’t all ours to enjoy any more, and a bummer that the Orioles are playing dismal baseball now, but that’s the way it goes in sports and in life. Nothing lasts forever.
There have been 157 days since Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Orioles have not announced any plans to retire his jersey number or erect his statue at Camden Yards.
Around the blogO’sphere
‘Baltimore will always have a piece of my heart’: On eve of his return, Manny Machado reflects (The Athletic)
Machado wants it known that in spring training, when he told Sports Illustrated “they didn’t show me a little bit of love,” he didn’t mean Orioles fans.
Cobb: “I am working hard to make the future the best that I can” (School of Roch)
Essential reading for both an explanation from Alex Cobb about his current health status and about his outlook for the rest of his O’s contract/career.
There might not be a better first-inning hitter than Trey Mancini this season (Baltimore Sun)
A lot of the good things that can be written about the 2019 Orioles are going to revolve around Trey Mancini in some way.
Richie Martin learning at major league level (Steve Melewski)
It’s not easy being a Rule 5 pick.
Birthdays and anniversaries
Today in 1961, the Orioles were involved in a little bit of history as they won a 14-inning game against the Angels, 9-8. Each team used eight pitchers in the game. The total of 16 pitchers used by both teams set a new MLB record. Ron Hansen homered in the 14th to put the O’s on top.
In 1999, O’s reliever Jesse Orosco made his 1,051st career relief appearance, breaking a record that had been held by Kent Tekulve. Orosco finished his career with 1,252 games pitched, of which 336 were as an Oriole. He still holds the MLB record.
A few former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 2008-11 slugger Luke Scott, 2000-01 reliever Ryan Kohlmeier, and 1977 reliever Dick Drago.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: fir tree namesake David Douglas (1799), World War II-era five-star general Henry Arnold (1886), novelist George Orwell (1903), The Smurfs creator/illustrator Peyo (1928), singer-songwriter Carly Simon (1945), celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain (1956), basketballer Dikembe Mutombo (1966), and actress Busy Phillips (1979).
On this day in history...
In 1876, the 7th Cavalry under George Armstrong Custer was defeated by a combined force of Plains Indians in the Battle of Little Bighorn. Custer and five companies worth of his men were killed in his last stand.
In 1906, a Pittsburgh millionaire named Harry Thaw shot and killed architect Stanford White, who had previously had a relationship with Thaw’s wife, Evelyn Nesbit, before she married Thaw. This “crime of the century” is now a part of public memory as little more than a song in the musical Ragtime. (Whee!)
In 1947, Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl was first published.
In 1948, the United States Air Force launched Operation Vittles, better known today as the Berlin airlift, a year-long effort to supply the Soviet-blockaded West Berlin solely by air. Planes from seven countries flew over 200,000 missions over the course of the airlift.
In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, marking the beginning of the Korean War.
In 1978, a rainbow flag was flown during the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade, the first time the symbol was used to represent gay pride.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 25 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Padres. Have a safe Tuesday. Go O’s!