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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles’ ineptitude was on national display

Making a rare appearance on a Fox broadcast, the O’s fumbled away a game to the Dodgers in a brutal defensive sixth inning.

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

For most of the season, the Orioles have been tucked away in their own private hidey-hole of despair. Oh, sure, most baseball fans have a general idea of how awful the O’s have been; they can read a box score, or watch the occasional Birds lowlight on Quick Pitch. But unless the O’s are playing against their favorite team, not many fans have gotten a chance to sit down and watch an entire Orioles game to truly understand the daily anguish and torment this team can bring.

Last night, though, the Orioles were nationally televised on Fox for reasons that I don’t quite understand. And it gave viewers across the country a first-hand look at the club’s horrific brand of baseball. They really only needed to watch the top of the sixth inning to get the gist of what 2019 Orioles baseball is all about. A third baseman booting a potential inning-ending grounder to extend a rally. A catcher failing to hold on to a third strike that would’ve escaped a jam. An exhausted pitcher standing dumbfounded instead of covering the plate, allowing two runs to score on a passed ball.

Yes, everyone, these are the Orioles in all their glory. Welcome to our world.

Andrea SK recapped the ugly defensive effort in the Birds’ 4-2 loss to the Dodgers, which resulted in their 99th loss of the year. Could the O’s hit triple digits in the loss column tonight? They’ll be starting a series against the only team in baseball that has already reached 100 defeats, the lowly Tigers, who are 43-102 after being swept in a doubleheader by the Yankees.

It’s a showdown between a stoppable force and a movable object. Who will own it?


Ruthless or revolutionary, first-year Orioles GM Mike Elias sticks to his plan – The Athletic
According to Dan Connolly, some old-school industry folks described Mike Elias as “cold” and “heartless” because he fired a bunch of longtime, well-respected baseball people. Uh, what did they THINK was going to happen when a new GM was brought in to make sweeping changes to a terrible team? Should Elias hold hands and sing Kumbaya with every staff member from the previous regime?

Mancini on “aiming higher” than exceeding 47 wins - School of Roch
Trey Mancini says the Orioles “won’t be popping any champagne bottles” if they surpass their 47-win total from last year. It would be kind of hilarious if they did, though. Sad, but hilarious.

Trenton beats Bowie in Game 3 of Eastern League finals (quotes added) - Steve Melewski
The Orioles weren’t the only team to lose on a ridiculous play last night. The Baysox lost Game 3 of their championship series on a straight steal of home because Alex Wells couldn’t hear the runner breaking off third.

Hyde sees Hays developing like Pollock -
Brandon Hyde compared the newly promoted Austin Hays to A.J. Pollock, who was just in town with the Dodgers. Pollock has a 20.5 WAR in eight major league seasons, along with a Gold Glove and All-Star appearance. We can only hope Hays has that kind of career in store.

The top 10 prospects a year from now will be ... -
Jim Callis predicts that Adley Rutschman will be the No. 2 prospect in baseball a year from now. I mean, he’s already No. 6, so that’s not a huge difference, but it’s pretty nice to hear anyway.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You share your day with Orioles Hall of Famer Rick Dempsey (70), the popular 1983 World Series MVP who spent parts of 12 years behind the plate with the Birds and now serves as a MASN commentator. It’s also the birthday of 1969-71 righty Mike Adamson (72), the first overall pick by the Orioles in 1967 in the June Secondary draft, which no longer exists.

Sept. 13 has been a significant day for home runs in O’s history. On this date in 1971, Frank Robinson became the 11th member of the 500-home run club, blasting a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth against the Tigers’ Fred Scherman in Baltimore. The paid attendance at Memorial Stadium was only 13,292, but hundreds of thousands of O’s fans will claim they were there.

And on this day in 2013, Chris Davis crushed his 50th home run of the year, becoming only the second Oriole in franchise history to do so. He ended the season with a league-leading 53, finishing third in the AL MVP vote. The Chris Davis who’s currently on the Orioles seems unrecognizable by comparison.