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Monday Bird Droppings: Where we’ve got four days off from the Orioles

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The Orioles lost their last game before the All-Star break, so they still have no sweep this year. Now, four days off.

MLB: All Star Game-Futures Game
DL Hall almost getting impaled by a bat shard in the Futures Game.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There’s no Orioles game today. There won’t be one tomorrow either, or the next day, or the day after that. We have at last arrived at the All-Star break after 89 games, many more of which have been bad than good. The totals have not been very lovely at all.

The All-Star festivities are not going to have a whole lot to do with the Orioles. No Oriole will be in the Home Run Derby tonight. Only John Means is on the roster for Tuesday’s game, and I won’t be holding my breath for him to get to pitch, although it will be cool if he does. At least this year we probably won’t have to deal with our All-Star being traded during the All-Star break.

The O’s did have a couple of players on the American League roster in yesterday’s Futures Game, 2017 first round pick DL Hall and 2018 first round pick Grayson Rodriguez. Hall had a three-up, three-down inning. He got hit by a broken bat on a grounder; fortunately, it was the fat part of the bat and it didn’t hit him too hard and he seemed to be fine. Rodriguez was called upon in the eighth inning and also pitched a scoreless frame. Good job, gentlemen.

With their 27-62 record, the O’s are on pace to win 49 games for the season. The good news is that the recent three-game winning streak has brought them back ahead of the pace from where they finished last year, with just 47 wins. The bad news is the obvious fact that it’s not going to be any fun to watch if the Orioles go 22-51 in the remainder of their games.

No talk about things the Orioles are on pace to do is complete without mentioning the home runs. They surrendered one more home run in the course of yesterday’s loss to the Blue Jays, leaving them with 170 home runs allowed so far. Check out Stacey’s recap of the “first half”-finishing loss to the Jays.

This is a less awful pace than they’ve been on at points this season, but giving up 309 home runs for the season would still blow past the current record of 258 home runs allowed by the 2016 Reds. The O’s basically must give up just one home run per game for the rest of the way to avoid the record.

There have been 170 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

Chris Davis on small upswing, trying to identify what brings about good spells: “I have no idea” (Baltimore Sun)
What else is there to say?

Orioles claim Aaron Brooks, designate Josh Lucas (MLBTR)
It’s looking like the 29-year-old righty Brooks will be joining the Orioles after the All-Star break. Brooks had a 5.01 ERA for the Athletics this year. He’ll fit right in!

O’s set part of their post-break rotation (Steve Melewski)
Credit to Melewski for still cranking out blog posts even though he was also doing the radio broadcasts all weekend in Toronto. It’s Bundy, Means, and Cashner, by the way, with the Saturday night of the doubleheader still TBA.

As David Hess returns to Orioles following relief transition, Hunter Harvey and Dillon Tate could take similar path (Baltimore Sun)
This article is already slightly out of date since Hess was optioned after Sunday’s loss. The Harvey/Tate parts might still apply. I’ve noticed on both radio and TV broadcasts lately that the guys have been hinting at there being players who could be on the way soon after the break.

More on Mancini missing All-Star Game (School of Roch)
Add Richard Bleier and Stevie Wilkerson to the list of teammates who think Trey Mancini should have been an All-Star.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Today in 1958, old Memorial Stadium hosted the MLB All-Star Game. Catcher Gus Triandos, who you might remember as Herc from The Wire’s favorite Oriole, was the lone Oriole to play in the game. He had a hit in two at-bats and allowed a stolen base to Willie Mays. The American League won, 4-3.

In 2011, the Vandal, David Ortiz, charged the mound in the middle of trotting halfway to first base after popping out on a 3-0 count against O’s reliever Kevin Gregg, leading to a bench-clearing incident. Each man threw a legitimate punch or two in the confrontation, though neither connected. You can watch the brawl for yourself on YouTube. The fireworks start at about :50. The O’s lost the game, 10-3, with starter Zack Britton giving up eight runs while failing to get out of the first inning.

A handful of former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 2006 five-gamer Danny Ardoin, 1997 reserve outfielder Jerome Walton, and the late John Powers, who played in 10 games for the 1960 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: chemist/businessman Eli Lilly (1838), early airship namesake Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838), Standard Oil Company founder John D. Rockefeller (1839), five stages of grief psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926), actor Kevin Bacon (1958), and “Loser” singer-songwriter Beck (1970).

On this day in history...

In 1709, the Swedish Army was defeated by Russian tsar Peter the Great’s force in the Battle of Poltava, a defeat that marked the decline of Sweden as a great power in Europe and the ascent of Russia in its place.

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read in public for the first time by John Nixon, after which church bells, and according to some, the Liberty Bell, were rung in Philadelphia.

In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry’s expedition arrived in Edo Bay, outside of the then-capital of Japan, with demands for Japan’s trade to be opened. This bit of gunboat diplomacy achieved its aim, as diplomatic relations were soon after established between Japan and the rest of the world.

In 1932, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to the lowest point that it would reach during the Great Depression, with a close of just 41.22.

In 1947, a surveillance balloon used in nuclear testing crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico. Or so the official story goes. The “flying disc” has spawned a variety of UFO-related theories over the years.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 8 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Monday.