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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles have the day off again

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The Orioles just had an off day on Monday and they’ve already got another one.

Washington Nationals v Baltimore Orioles
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is not an Oriole. He did throw out the first pitch last night.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Isn’t it funny how much better this dismal 2019 Orioles project seems on the day after they win a game? None of the wide variety of their short-term problems are solved just because they beat the Nationals last night, 9-2, and still it can be fun.

Winning is fun, even when it’s one fluky game against a team with a horrendous bullpen, even when the O’s still have to contend with a variety of ongoing slumps that aren’t necessarily over just because several players have recently snapped out of lengthy 0-fors. The O’s own bullpen is bad, the rotation is a shambles, the defense isn’t great, and they’re still going to lose a lot more games. But they didn’t lose yesterday, and that’s nice. Check out Alex Church’s recap of the win.

If any out there really, really want the Orioles to get the #1 pick in next year’s draft, you might not find it fun or nice that the O’s won last night. The reason for that is that the Tigers were losers as the O’s were winners, meaning these two teams are now tied in the win column with 29 wins apiece. The O’s still have the edge because they’re four “ahead” in the loss column, having lost 66 games compared to 62 for the Tigers. The Tigers play the Indians at 7:10 tonight.

This thing is staying close. Whether the whole tanking project end up being Schlock for (Emerson) Hancock, Failey for (Patrick) Bailey, Defeat for Pete (Crow-Armstrong), or Shartin’ for (Austin) Martin, the O’s will have to be pretty dang bad to be worse than the Tigers. You and I have paid attention to the games. We’re all well aware of how bad the Orioles are. It’s kind of amazing that anyone is even in their neighborhood, but they are!

If things did click for the O’s last night, they’re going to keep it clicked through today’s off day, and then on into the weekend’s series against the Red Sox, who are, uh, much better than the O’s.

Today marks the one year anniversary of when the Orioles traded Manny Machado and officially kicked off the rebuilding project in which they now find themselves. That was a lot of losses ago. Check back later this morning for a check-in on how the prospects the O’s got in that trade have been doing over the last year.

Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 180 days ago. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey number or erect his statue.

Around the blogO’sphere

Hitless in 30 straight at-bats, ‘pressing’ Dwight Smith Jr. held out of Orioles lineup (Baltimore Sun)
Richie Martin, Chris Davis, and Trey Mancini have all recently snapped out of their long hitless streaks. Smith’s is the last one still going.

Hyde on Alberto, Bundy, rotation, and more (School of Roch)
Dylan Bundy is still on track for a minimum ten-day injured list stay, which would mean he is in line to start next Tuesday in Arizona. And speaking of Arizona...

Diamondbacks reportedly shopping Adam Jones (MLBTR)
Any team that acquires Adam Jones for the playoff push will immediately have me in their corner. That’s actually not true at all, so I hope he ends up on a team it would be fun to root for.

Orioles do what they can to avoid effects of heat (Baltimore Baseball)
Mancini says he’d rather play in a Baltimore summer than in some of the cold, cold games he played in when he was at the University of Notre Dame.

O’s to repay BoSox for part of Cashner bonuses (ESPN)
There are some incentives for games started and innings pitched in Cashner’s contracts, and if he hits those, the O’s are going to pay up to $2.5 million more in bonuses. Imagine the version of the trade where they weren’t absorbing that much salary!

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson wears orange and black as an Orioles pitcher for a day (Baltimore Sun)
Jackson’s ceremonial first pitch was closer to the strike zone than a lot of pitches that have been thrown by Orioles relievers this season.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Today in 2002, Melvin Mora tied an MLB record by being hit by a pitch three times in the same game. The Orioles lost the game to the Blue Jays, 5-4, as starter Travis Driskill gave up five runs in four innings.

One lone former Oriole was born on this day. Happy 75th birthday to 1976-77 O’s pitcher Rudy May, who joined the O’s in the same trade that brought Rick Dempsey, Tippy Martinez, and Scott McGregor to the team and left the O’s in the same trade that brought Gary Roenicke and Don Stanhouse here.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Titanic passenger Margaret “The Unsinkable Molly” Brown (1867), pioneering astronaut John Glenn (1921), gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson (1937), movie-making man Paul Verhoeven (1938), Village People singer Glenn Hughes (1950), actor Vin Diesel (1967), rapper M.I.A. (1975), and actress Priyanka Chopra (1982).

On this day in history...

In 1389, France and England signed the Truce of Leulingham, marking the start of a period of peace lasting about 16 years in the middle of the Hundred Years’ War.

In 1870, the First Vatican Council proclaimed the doctrine of papal infallibility.

In 1976, during the Summer Olympics held in Montreal, gymnast Nadia Comaneci scored the first ever perfect 10 in Olympic competition.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 18 - or at least, unless something happens later. You never know when Mike Elias will strike. Have a safe Thursday.