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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles remain in the MLB cellar

The Orioles drafted a whole lot of pitchers on day 3 of the draft yesterday. Maybe some can eventually be part of a better bullpen.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

Did you stay up late to watch last night’s latest Orioles loss? If you did, you probably did so with regret. I know that I sure did. It was nice that Richie Martin hit his second homer of the season to tie things up in the ninth inning, but it’s hard to be too happy about that after watching the 12th inning bullpen silliness that led to a 2-1 loss to the Rangers.

There is some good news. The Orioles did not give up a home run in the course of last night’s loss. That leaves them at 123 home runs allowed for the season, now spread over 61 games. Over a full season, that would end up with the Orioles allowing 327 home runs, which, yes, would break the existing record.

The loss is also good news for anyone who thinks that the Orioles rebuilding effort will be better off if they’re able to collect multiple #1 overall picks, as the Astros did in their 2011-13 stretch of 100+ loss seasons. The Royals were also losers on Wednesday night, ending up on the wrong end of a Chris Sale complete game shutout.

These two teams are knotted at 19-42 in the standings. The Orioles do hold the tiebreaker over the Royals for next year’s #1 pick by virtue of their having had a worse record in 2018 as well. If they both keep playing at this pace, they will end up with a 50-112 record for the season. Well, it’s better than last year, for the Orioles anyway...

The O’s ended last night’s loss with an empty bench due to injuries suffered by Pedro Severino, Jonathan Villar, and DJ Stewart during the course of the game. Severino suffered a head contusion on a foul ball, Villar’s right thumb is a problem, and Stewart sprained his right ankle after colliding with Hanser Alberto and then a brick wall while trying to make a catch. On MASN after the game, manager Brandon Hyde said he didn’t expect any injured list moves as a result today. Hopefully they’re all in good shape soon.

The O’s will try to avoid a series loss at the hands of the Rangers in an 8:05 scheduled game tonight.

There have been 138 days since Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey number or erect his statue at Camden Yards.

Around the blogO’sphere

Hanser Alberto having homecoming to remember against Rangers (Baltimore Sun)
The half-decent hitting from Alberto is one of the more surprising things about this season.

Cashner pushed back to Saturday (School of Roch)
A little bit of leg soreness for Andrew Cashner. The good news is, Monday’s off day means no disruptions to anyone else’s regular rest.

Givens back in big spots (Baltimore Baseball)
For better or worse. Hopefully better!

Back from injury, prospect Austin Hays focused on returning to majors (Press Box)
One thing that would make me less grumpy about the rest of the Orioles season is if Hays can get back to looking like a prospect who matters before the season’s over.

A look at the Orioles draft through round 40 (Steve Melewski)
A variety of draft tidbits from Melewski, including that the Royals selected Jake Means, younger brother of John, in the 22nd round of the draft. Jake is a third baseman who was playing at Indiana State.

Father Judge graduate Dan Hammer taken by Orioles (Philadelphia Inquirer)
“Local paper’s high school sports page writes about draft pick or prospect” is one of my favorite kinds of news articles. Good luck to Hammer in the professional ranks.

Special “Today in Orioles history”

In 1993, the Orioles and Mariners were involved in a brawl sparked when Seattle catcher Bill Haselman charged the mound after being hit by a Mike Mussina pitch. Mariners starting pitcher Chris Bosio had thrown behind Oriole Harold Reynolds the prior inning.

Bosio, who suffered a broken collarbone in the fight, was ejected. Mussina was not, much to the dismay of Seattle skipper Lou Piniella, who got himself ejected, kicked dirt over home plate, and played the rest of the game under protest of Mussina remaining in the game. The Orioles won the game, 5-2, completing a sweep.

This is also a significant piece of Birdland history because Cal Ripken Jr. twisted his knee during the course of the brawl and came very close to having The Streak end the next day at “just” 1,790 consecutive games played. You can watch 7:59 of the brawl on YouTube. Mussina’s glove toss at the beginning is, as they say, (chef’s kiss).


One lone former Oriole has a birthday today. Happy 76th birthday to 1968-73 outfielder Merv Rettenmund.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: “The Painter of the Revolution” John Trumbull (1756), Abercrombie & Fitch co-founder David Abercrombie (1867), author Thomas Mann (1875), actor Harvey Fierstein (1954), and incomplete trilogy author Patrick Rothfuss (1973).

On this day in history...

In 1832, the Paris Uprising was put down by the French National Guard. You might have seen a fictionalized version of this event this depicted in Les Miserables. Poor Eponine.

In 1862, during the Civil War, Union naval forces defeated the Confederates in the Battle of Memphis, leading to the capture of that city. The battle is recognized as an important moment in United States naval history because it was such a chaotic mess that leaders realized naval operations must be carried out by trained professionals under military discipline, instead of by civilians with a confused chain of command.

In 1918, during World War I, with two-time Medal of Honor winner First Sgt. Dan Daly exclaiming, “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?” United States Marines joined the attack on the Germans in Belleau Wood, suffering the highest single day’s casualties for the Corps up to that point in time.

In 1944, during World War II, D-Day arrived for Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy. Still the largest amphibious military operation in history, a force of 155,000 landed on the beach on D-Day, with 4,414 fatalities on that day alone.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 6 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Rangers. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!