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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the first half will be ending soon

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The Orioles have one more series to play before giving their fans a needed reprieve for the All-Star break.

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San Diego Padres v Baltimore Orioles
Brandon Hyde is probably as ready for a break as anyone.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

If you’re reading this right now, kudos for still keeping tabs on the Orioles as they plunge inevitably toward another 100+ loss season.

There’s very little good that can be said about the 2019 season so far. The Orioles are 25-61, 3.5 games worse than any other team in baseball, and on pace to finish 47-115 for the second straight year. And while there have been some impressive individual performances — from All-Star John Means, Trey Mancini, Pedro Severino, and others — the overall talent level on the Orioles is severely lacking. In most games, the O’s seem utterly outmatched and overwhelmed, particularly on the pitching side, where they seemed destined to set a new major league record for home runs allowed. They’ve already coughed up 168 dingers in 86 games, putting them on track to give up 316.

On Monday, the Orioles and their fans will get a much-needed break from the club for four days while the All-Star festivities take place in Cleveland. It’s a chance to clear your head and maybe find something more entertaining to do with your time. But before that happens, there’s one more series to go, as the O’s begin a three-game series in Toronto tonight.

Who knows? Maybe they’ll win a couple and head into the break on a positive note. Stranger things have happened.

Oh! That reminds me, I should watch Stranger Things. The All-Star break can’t get here soon enough.

Links

Myriad Orioles Thoughts: Trey Mancini’s snub; a needed international haul; a starting duo with a message – The Athletic
As Dan Connolly writes, Trey Mancini is unlikely to be picked to the All-Star team as an injury replacement, because it would be strange to have two players from the worst team in baseball on the club. But can’t MLB take pity on us and do it anyway? Pleeeeease?

Closer look at Orioles’ roster usage - School of Roch
The Orioles have used a ridiculous 46 players already this season, and seem on track to crush the full-season franchise record of 56, set last year. That’s what happens when the majority of your roster is completely, utterly replaceable.

Gary Kendall talks Triple-A prospects, plus other notes - Steve Melewski
The Norfolk Tides manager has plenty of good things to say about prospects Ryan Mountcastle, Keegan Akin, and Hunter Harvey. If you had to guess, which of those three guys do you think we’ll see on the Orioles first? And will any of them be this year?

Who's in charge of running the Orioles? - Beyond the Box Score
MLB asked the Orioles earlier this year who their designated control person is, and the O’s apparently haven't informed them yet. That seems...weird. Is that weird?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have a boatload of Orioles birthday buddies, including once and hopefully future Oriole Austin Hays, who turns 24. The oft-injured Hays hasn’t played in the bigs since 2017, and he’s currently working his way back from another injury, starting a rehab assignment at Aberdeen last night.

Other living ex-Orioles celebrating their birthdays today include 2000 O’s teammates Jay Spurgeon (43) and Tim Worrell (52), and 2008-2010 lefty Alberto Castillo (44), not to be confused with the catcher of the same name who played for the Orioles a year earlier. It’s also the birthday of late Orioles Curt Blefary (b. 1943, d. 2001), the 1965 AL Rookie of the Year, and Arnie Portocarrero (b. 1931, d. 1986), who had the longest last name in O’s history until Asher Wojciechowski came along earlier this week.

On this day in 1969, Dave McNally won his 14th straight decision dating back to the previous year, beating the Tigers to improve to 12-0. McNally eventually extended the streak to 17 straight wins before taking his first loss on Aug. 3. He finished the season with a 20-7 record.