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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where we’re hoping for a better Orioles future

The Orioles are pretty bad right now, so we have to find hope in the minor leagues, draft signings, and international talent to come.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Baltimore Orioles
Is Gunnar Henderson part of a better Orioles future? Here’s hoping.
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

Today is another day off for the Orioles. As they are 1-13 over their last 14 games, they could use the day off, and O’s fans could use the day off from them. Do something fun today that won’t stress you out. Not that O’s games are exactly stressful right now, since there’s no reason to believe they will win, but still. It’s stressful watching crummy losses even when that’s exactly what you expect.

The major league team isn’t a whole lot of fun right now. The idea of a brighter future has at least been present this week, though. The team announced the signing first of #1 overall pick Adley Rutschman, and then of second round pick Gunnar Henderson, both of whom sounded impressive as they sat down for press conferences and in-game interviews with the broadcast crews.

Along with the announced signing from Wednesday of third round pick Zach Watson, the center fielder from LSU, the Orioles have now signed 32 of their 41 draft picks this year and all of the players from the top ten. GM Mike Elias said he’s optimistic about getting at least two more signed.

More signings are less than a week away. July 2 marks the beginning of the international amateur signing period. For the first time in years, the Orioles will be participating in the J2 free agent class, although unfortunately the reality is many of the players who will turn out to be the top prospect names and eventual MLBers from the class have been committed to other teams since long before Elias was hired. Yesterday, Elias indicated the O’s could be adding talent from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and even the Bahamas.

These are 16-year-olds who are about to be signed. They are actual kids, rather than just the commonly-used “kids” in baseball lingo for “any player younger than the speaker.” It will be a long time before any of them might impact the big league club.

It’s a lot more fun to think about the future than it is the MLB club right now. Thinking about the MLB club means thinking about the team having given up 165 home runs in 80 games and now being on pace to allow 334 for the season. It also means thinking about the Orioles heading towards a record of 45-117, two games worse than last year’s team.

Who wants to dwell on that? So instead, the future. It has to be better than this.

Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 159 days ago. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey number or add his statue to Camden Yards.

Around the blogO’sphere

Norfolk Tides third baseman sent down to Baltimore Orioles (The Onion)
When you’re as bad as the Orioles are, everyone gets to get into the line to dunk on you, even America’s Finest News Source.

Josh Rogers diagnosed with UCL strain, surgery possible (
Tough break for the lefty starter who came over in last July’s Zack (we knew him then as Zach) Britton trade. The Orioles desperate search for pitching will continue.

Amid overhaul, Orioles attendance nearly as bad as their record. But team says it has a plan to win back fans, too. (Baltimore Sun)
Among the tidbits here are that the Orioles have been rated as the fifth-most affordable ballpark experience, and that the team has brought new analytics to the business side of their operations as well.

Draft signings nearly complete, Elias turns attention to trades, international market (Baltimore Baseball)
Elias said he saw Henderson 30 times last summer, but now that he’s the GM, he’ll be leaving the summer scouting to his staff and pick up the final evaluations next spring.

Henderson talks about signing with the Orioles (Steve Melewski)
I don’t have any idea if Henderson will be a good player, but I do feel confident that he’s going to give all he can to be the best player that he can be.

Orioles acquire Patrick Dorrian to complete Yefry Ramirez trade (MLBTR)
Dorrian got traded to the Orioles on his 23rd birthday. The shortstop will report to Frederick.

Birthdays and anniversaries

A handful of former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 2006-13 reliever Jim Johnson, 2008-09 reserve Oscar Salazar, 1999-2003/2006 first baseman Jeff Conine, 1987 outfielder Nelson Simmons, 1986-87 infielder Jackie Gutierrez, and the late Lou Kretlow of the 1954-55 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: anarchist Emma Goldman (1869), author and deaf-blind activist Helen Keller (1880), actor/singer Michael Ball (1962), TV/movie maker J.J. Abrams (1966), and famous for being famous Khloe Kardashian (1984).

On this day in history...

In 1556, eleven men and two women, the Stratford Martyrs, were burned at the stake near London, England, for the crime of being Protestant during the reign of Bloody Mary.

In 1743, England’s king, George II, took the field during the War of the Austrian Succession’s Battle of Dettingen. England and allies defeated the French in the battle, which marked the most recent time a reigning British monarch participated in a battle.

In 1844, Latter Day Saint founder Joseph Smith and brother Hyrum Smith were killed by a mob while being held in jail in Carthage, Illinois.

In 1895, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Royal Blue made its inaugural run from Washington, DC to New York City. The train is noteworthy for being the first electric locomotive passenger train in the US.

In 1981, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China put forth a resolution titled: “Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.” This resolution blamed the Cultural Revolution, which killed as many as two million people from 1966-76, on deceased leader Mao Zedong.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 27 - or at least, unless something happens later on this Orioles off day. Have a safe Thursday.