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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles made unfortunate history

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With 34 games still to go, the O’s shattered the all-time MLB record for giving up home runs. We did it, everyone!

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles
Asher Wojciechowski is in the history books, and not just for having the most un-spellable name.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

It happened at last. The big night finally arrived. Let it be forever etched in the record books: on Aug. 22, 2019, the Baltimore Orioles became the most homered-upon team in the history of baseball.

We all knew it was coming, of course. The O’s have been on this collision course with destiny for months now, when it became apparent that their pitchers had a unprecedented talent for coughing up dingers. It was only a matter of when, not if, the 2016 Reds’ previous record of 258 was going to fall.

The O’s cleared that bar with plenty to spare, giving up fateful homer No. 259 in their 128th game, with five weeks remaining on the schedule. Mark Brown broke down all the stats behind the season-long home run barrage.

The historic feat was not without some drama. Asher Wojciechowski and the Orioles gave up the record-breaking dinger in the second inning (and another blast in the fifth), but the game was interrupted by rain in the bottom of the fifth inning, before it became official. Had the clubs been unable to resume play, the game and its stats would’ve been wiped out, and the Orioles would’ve had to wait at least one more night to officially (re)set the record.

Ultimately, though, the teams waited out a two-hour, 16-minute delay to assure they could at least finish the fifth inning and make things official. And with that, the record belonged to the Orioles, once and for all.

Hooray?

Links

Hyde says that Chris Davis’ playing time could be limited for rest of season - BaltimoreBaseball.com
It’s a move that has needed to happen for some time, but it’s sad to see a once-great Oriole reduced to a benchwarmer and lineup-card-bringer-outer.

10 stats about the Orioles giving up home runs that highlight the absurdity of Baltimore’s record-setting season - CBS Sports
R.J. Anderson checks in with a few more factoids about the Orioles’ gopher ball record. The gist: O’s pitchers are unspeakably bad.

Mantle? Pujols? Alberto hangs with elite vs. LHP - Orioles.com
Hanser Alberto is being mentioned in the same breath as baseball legends. Just as we all predicted in March.

Another look at the Orioles’ improved Dominican program - Steve Melewski
When’s the last time the Orioles had any players in the Dominican Summer League worth talking about? Now they do, and Dominican academy director Felipe Alou Jr. is more than happy to talk about them.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have a smorgasbord of O’s birthday buddies, the most prominent being Orioles Hall of Famer Mike Boddicker (62), who spent the first nine of his 14 major league seasons in Baltimore. He was an All-Star and 20-game winner in 1984, and in 1988 the O’s traded him for Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling. Not a bad return. It’s also the birthday of the late Baseball Hall of Famer George Kell (b. 1922, d. 2009), who ended his career with a couple years on the Orioles.

Six other ex-Orioles have birthdays today, most of them of the blink-and-you-missed-them type. The list includes pitchers John Morris (78) and the late Ed Barnowski (b. 1943, d. 2017), who combined for 25 appearances with the O’s in the 1960s; and position players Raul Casanova (47), Casey Blake (46), and Alejandro Freire (45), who combined for 33 games in the early 2000s. Finally, it’s the 55th birthday of 1995 infielder Jeff Manto, who’s currently the Orioles’ minor league hitting coordinator.

On this day in 2002, the Orioles stormed back from a 6-0 deficit to beat the Blue Jays, 11-7, at Camden Yards, bringing their record to an even 63-63. That’s good! Then they proceeded to go 4-32 to finish the season. That’s not so good!