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Monday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles face Adam Jones tonight

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The face of the franchise for the past decade is now playing against them. I know. It’s weird.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Philadelphia Phillies
I still can’t get used to seeing him in colors other than black and orange.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

You know, there are times when I think I’ve gotten used to this whole rebuilding process going on in Baltimore. I’ve accepted that the major league team isn’t going to be good for a while, and that they’ll be shuttling players in and out as they attempt to rebuild their roster for the long haul. I get it. It’s the new normal.

But then I see something like Adam Jones wearing an Arizona Diamondbacks jersey, and it hits me: things really have changed. These aren’t your older brother’s Orioles anymore.

It wasn’t so long ago that Jones was the face of the franchise, the vocal and emotional leader of a ballclub that compiled the best record in the AL from 2012-2016 and reached the postseason three times. Jones represented everything that was great about the team. He was a consummate professional, but also knew how to have fun. (I’ll never forget the image of Jones letting fans pie him after the 2014 Orioles clinched the AL East pennant.) He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, both about baseball and social issues.

Oh, and he was a heck of a good baseball player. Jones ranks in the Orioles’ all-time top five in runs, hits, home runs, and RBIs. He made five All-Star teams and won three Gold Gloves. He’s 12th in O’s history in Wins Above Replacement (31.6) and is a stone-cold lock to eventually be elected into the Orioles Hall of Fame.

But even a franchise cornerstone can’t survive a complete organizational rebuild, and thus Jones’ 11-year O’s career came to an end this past offseason. It’s hard to say it was the wrong decision. It’s still jarring, though, to see him wearing another team’s colors. And it’ll be awkward to watch him step into the batter’s box tonight against the team for whom he was so indispensable for so many years.

Links

Mussina proud to join ‘best who ever played’ - MLB.com
Speaking of franchise superstars, Mike Mussina was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday, and he had some kind words for the Orioles. And also for the Yankees, but let’s just forget that part. Congratulations, Moose!

Baltimore Orioles: Mike Mussina’s Top Five Starts As An Oriole - Birds Watcher
In Mussina’s honor, Nick Stevens recaps his best five outings with the Birds by Game Score. Game No. 2 is the one that sticks out in my mind. That and his postseason performances, which aren’t on this list.

Soft-spoken Baines emotional on Hall induction - MLB.com
Mussina wasn’t the only new Hall of Famer with Orioles ties, as former DH Harold Baines was inducted alongside him. And he’s a native Marylander to boot. I get why his HOF election was controversial, but who cares? Good for you, Harold.

Orioles hilariously shut out contending Red Sox, 5-0, to seal series win - Camden Chat
Oh by the way, the Orioles played a game yesterday, and it was an awesome one. Mark Brown recaps the Orioles' series finale win that likely sent Beantown into panicked hysteria.

Wojciechowski takes a no-hitter into seventh in 5-0 win (updated) - School of Roch
Brandon Hyde, Asher Wojciechowski, and Trey Mancini comment on the Orioles’ well-played victory, while recent Oriole Andrew Cashner tips his hat from the other dugout.

Orioles designate light-hitting outfielder Broxton - ESPN.com
The Orioles’ roster churn continued as they jettisoned Keon Broxton two months after acquiring him. Hey, he was worth a shot, but most waiver-wire pickups aren’t going to turn into nuggets.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You share your day with one current Oriole, Tanner Scott (25), who received the early birthday gift of being called back to the majors over the weekend. Scott has bounced up and down all season and hasn’t really found any rhythm, interspersing dominant outings with horrible ones. He’s trending up, though, with his three scoreless innings on Saturday, so perhaps this time he’ll be able to stick around for a while.

On this day in 1996, homegrown superstar Eddie Murray returned to the field for the Orioles, eight years after his messy divorce from the club. The Orioles Legend, reacquired in a trade from the Indians, was welcomed with a standing ovation from the Camden Yards crowd of 42,129 and crushed a homer in his third at-bat. The O’s, though, lost the game to the Twins, 8-4.