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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are back in action

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The Orioles resume their chase for the home runs allowed record with a weekend series against the Red Sox.

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Washington Nationals v Baltimore Orioles
Mychal Givens could be on the move next.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

The day’s rest for the Orioles, and for us from the Orioles, is over. They’re back in action tonight to open up a three-game series against the Red Sox. To those brave souls who will be braving the heat and the Boston plague that will be unleashed upon Camden Yards over the course of this weekend, we salute you, mostly from afar so we don’t have to come in contact with any “Pedroia the Destroyah” t-shirts.

As hot as it is, and with the Orioles pitching staff being what it is, no one should be surprised this weekend if the O’s end up rushing a lot closer towards breaking the season record for home runs surrendered. They sit now with 183 homers allowed in 95 games, setting them up for a full season pace of 312 homers allowed, well past the 258 given up by the 2016 Reds.

In real terms, the Orioles are 75 home runs allowed shy of tying that record with 67 games still to play. They can still avoid setting this record if they average about one home run allowed per game the rest of the day. Can it be done? Sure. Is it likely? You’ve seen this pitching staff. You know the answer.

While the O’s were idle, their closest competition for the #1 pick in next year’s draft, the Tigers, lost to the Indians, 6-3. The O’s and Tigers still have 29 wins apiece, though the Tigers have “only” 63 losses compared to the O’s having 66. Detroit gets to play the 36-62 Blue Jays this weekend while the O’s are playing the Red Sox

The trade deadline is now twelve days away. Who do you think will be the next to be traded? When do you think GM Mike Elias will strike again? I won’t be surprised if he trades somebody on Saturday, because I will be busy for much of the day, and Elias, like Dan Duquette before him, has a unique sense of when to do something when I’m not at home to write about the news.

There have been 181 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.

Around the blogO’sphere

Is Alberto becoming a trade chip? (School of Roch)
I can’t believe this question is actually being asked. Maybe some team would really find itself buying on the .397/.407/.512 batting line against lefties.

One year after Manny Machado trade, Yusniel Diaz finding his form at Double-A Bowie (Baltimore Sun)
Diaz credits a month-long hot streak on, among other things, being farther removed from the immediate pressure of having been traded for Machado. There’s also some good shop talk about swing mechanics here.

Phillies were interested in Cashner before backing away (The Athletic)
Ken Rosenthal writes that Philly “backed off in part due to concerns about the pitcher’s makeup,” which is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser especially when paired with The Sun’s post-trade description of “one less veteran pitcher whose brand of leadership in the clubhouse certainly wasn’t for everyone.”

Orioles 2019 top 30 prospects midseason update (Baseball America)
For any interested Baseball America subscribers out there. If you’re waiting for a freely-available top 30 prospect list, the folks at MLB Pipeline should have updated system rankings in the next ten days or so.

Brewers trade target: Mychal Givens (Brew Crew Ball)
Our friends over at the SB Nation Brewers blog are coveting other teams relievers, including Givens. Who would you want out of this system? Perhaps Elias is eyeing up other teams’ 2018 July 2 international amateur signings as well.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Today in 1991, Cal Ripken Jr. played in his 1,500th consecutive game. He hit another milestone in the O’s 4-1 win over the Mariners when he hit his 20th home run of the season. This made Cal the eighth player in MLB history with 20+ homers every year of his first 10 MLB seasons.

In 1994, the Orioles were going to play the Mariners until some tiles fell from the ceiling of Seattle’s Kingdome about two hours before first pitch. The game was postponed for safety reasons. Due to the baseball strike that began the next month, it was never made up.

A handful of former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 1990-93/2001-04 first baseman David Segui, 1980-81 catcher Dan Graham, and 1956-59 infielder Billy Gardner. Today is Gardner’s 92nd birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: firearms manufacturer Samuel Colt (1814), artist Edgar Degas (1834), acquitted murder suspect Lizzie Borden (1860), Queen guitarist Brian May (1947), actor Benedict Cumberbatch (1976), and MMA fighter Jon “Bones” Jones (1987).

On this day in history...

In 64, the Great Fire of Rome began. Primary sources from the time have been lost to history, though popular lore nonetheless suggests the emperor, Nero, played his fiddle as the fire raged.

In 1848, the Women’s Rights Convention opened in Seneca Falls, New York. The convention’s Declaration of Sentiments offered a necessary correction to Thomas Jefferson’s famous Declaration: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal...”

In 1903, the first Tour de France concluded, with Maurice Garin winning the first edition of the race. He won the next year too before that title was stripped for cheating. The 2019 race enters its 13th day today with an individual time trial in Pau. Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe has led since the 8th stage, though he could lose his lead without a great time trial showing.

In 1977, a GPS signal was transmitted from a satellite and received in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, marking the world’s first use of the Global Positioning System.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 19 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Red Sox. Have a safe Friday. Go O’s!