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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles have ten games left

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The torture that is the 2019 Orioles season will be over soon. There are still articles about the improving bullpen as it keeps blowing games.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles
Four arms, four legs, one visible torso. It made me chuckle.
Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are games where it seems like the Orioles are steadfastly determined to make us all as cranky as possible about the 2019 season. They have played two such stupid games in the last two days here against the Blue Jays, including last night’s 11-10 loss.

As you know if you tortured yourself with it, the Orioles took a 9-5 lead into the ninth inning and Miguel Castro blew the game thoroughly, then the O’s loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth and failed to get any more runs across even though the winning run was in scoring position. Check out Drew Bonifant’s recap for some exceptionally not-so-lovely totals.

Games like that one last night make me feel like the Orioles could chuck basically every reliever other than Hunter Harvey and not lose any part of their next winning team. This isn’t totally fair, of course, as even last night only three of the seven relievers gave up runs (I know, I know).

The front office will surely be more discerning than me in trying to decide who could be polished into something with more time. It’s just that sometimes it seems like there’s nothing to polish and that these bad ideas of Dan Duquette are still floating around because it was easier to keep most of them than it was for Mike Elias to press the plunger and completely demolish the bullpen upon being hired when he only got hired in late November.

We’ll see if that goes any differently with a full offseason to work with, plus new hires in place already to make evaluations, which he didn’t have last year. Oh, and if you’re not bummed enough, here was some news fresh off the presses following the loss...

When I’m not fresh off watching the kind of game that makes me completely grumpy, I can enjoy the few bright spots of this team. Losses like last night’s affair matter very little for the future of the franchise. John Means, Trey Mancini, Hanser Alberto, and Jonathan Villar have been the season-long bright spots, and Anthony Santander and Austin Hays have shown enough to be intriguing.

When I am fresh off watching such a loss, the only thing that makes me really feel better about it is that they are only going to play ten more games and then I will never have to watch the 2019 Orioles again. Still, I’ll miss even these guys in January. I always do.

There have been 243 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 add his statue to Legends Plaza.

Around the blogO’sphere

Sig Mejdal and Ravens’ Eric DeCosta team up as champions of analytics and longtime friends (Baltimore Sun)
When Mejdal was still working with the Astros, he said DeCosta called him “out of the blue” to learn about how an advanced organization was doing its thing. Now they’re in the same town!

Updates on Williams, Trumbo, Nunez, and rotation (School of Roch)
No concussion for Mason Williams, but he’s got a knee bruise that could keep him out for the rest of the games.

Miguel Castro turning the corner for the Orioles (Orioles.com)
This was an unfortunate article to be published in the afternoon before Castro completely blew a game by giving up five runs in the ninth inning.

Orioles still giving up home runs, though not as many (Baltimore Baseball)
The Orioles could give up zero home runs between now and the end of the season and I wouldn’t feel any better about it than I do right now.

Mychal Givens on tough stretch following a strong one (Steve Melewski)
Givens went between August 11 and September 11 without giving up any runs. Starting on September 11, he’s given up runs in three of five outings. Relievers, they are volatile.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a handful of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2013/18 infielder Danny Valencia, 2012 reserve Nick Johnson, 1996-97 closer Randy Myers, and the late Bob Turley of the 1954 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: baseball Hall of Famer Duke Snider (1926), singer “Mama” Cass Elliott (1941), baseball writer Ken Rosenthal (1962), Hugo Award-winning author N.K. Jemisin (1972), late night funny man Jimmy Fallon (1974), and Tegan and Sara’s Tegan and Sara Quin (1980).

On this day in history...

In 1356, during the Hundred Years War, the English defeated the French in the Battle of Poitiers. It was a major victory for the English as they managed to capture French King John II, though the war nonetheless kept going, with some interruptions, until 1453.

In 1796, George Washington’s farewell address was published across the country as an open letter to Americans. Portions of the address can be found woven into the song “One Last Time” in the musical Hamilton.

In 1881, President James A. Garfield died due to a bullet wound he received on July 2. This led to Vice President Chester A. Arthur becoming president.

In 1944, the U.S. Army launched an attack in what turned into the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, which raged for nearly three months and remains the longest engagement in its history, only ending when the Battle of the Bulge broke out and turned attention elsewhere.

In 1982, the Carnegie Mellon University bulletin board system saw the posting of the first recorded emoticons - :-) and :-(. Scott Fahlman, who sent the message, is a professor emeritus at CMU today.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 19 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Blue Jays. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!