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Labor Day Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles could be a little spoiler again

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The Orioles called up some guys when rosters expanded in September. You’ve seen them all before.

MLB: SEP 01 Orioles at Royals Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

If there was anyone out there who was hoping that September callups would change the Orioles in any big way, yesterday was a cruel reminder that what we’re going to see this month is just more of the same guys we’ve been seeing all season, except there’s not a 25-man roster limit to force some of them to be banished from our sight for stretches of time.

Check out Drew Bonifant’s recap of the 6-4 loss on Sunday, which saw the game’s decisive runs charged to guys who’ve been giving up runs all season: Richard Bleier, Paul Fry (in 0.0 IP) and Shawn Armstrong. Fry now has a 1-7 record for the year. A pitcher’s win-loss record is not everything about him, of course, but when you’ve got a reliever with seven losses on the season, you can be sure he’s had some problems.

Things do not get any easier for the Orioles today as they have arrived for a series against the wild card contender Rays. There will be three games in two days, with a Tuesday doubleheader on tap due to earlier fears, now looking less likely to be realized, that Hurricane Dorian might disrupt a Wednesday baseball game or Wednesday evening travel. If you are in its potential path, stay safe.

The Rays enter the series a half game ahead of the Indians for the #1 wild card spot in the American League. However, the Athletics are only another half game behind the Indians, so the Rays making the playoffs is still no sure thing. The O’s will play part of a spoiler role over the next few games. Either they’ll spoil the Rays chances by winning or they’ll spoil the Athletics chances by losing.

The good news is that these next three games will be most of the Orioles remaining games against good teams. They have 26 games left to play and only six of those will be against playoff teams, with just nine against above-.500 teams.

That may not be good news if you want the Orioles to repeat with the #1 overall pick next year. The O’s might have a decent chance of winning some of these games! Four games separate the Orioles and Tigers in the standings. I think the O’s might be locked in to the #2 pick next year.

Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 226 days ago. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey number or put up his statue at Camden Yards.

Around the blogO’sphere

Trumbo to rejoin the O’s for September (Orioles.com)
And there was much rejoicing. (Yay.)

Brandon Hyde on Sunday’s roster additions (Steve Melewski)
Hyde said there are still more callups to come, so maybe an exciting or at least more interesting name will sneak in there.

Once forgotten, Anthony Santander now changes outfield plans (Baltimore Sun)
The way that Santander has forced himself into the picture is one of the few bright spots of the 2019 Orioles.

This, that, and the other (School of Roch)
I’m less convinced than Roch Kubatko that Jonathan Villar’s August performance has done much to increase his offseason trade value relative to what it was at the end of July.

As Orioles improve under Elias, Duquette may get some credit (Baltimore Baseball)
How much credit does Duquette deserve for drafting some guys who’ve flourished more in the new analytics regime?

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a number of former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2012-13 pitcher Jason Hammel, 1986 reserve infielder Rex Hudler, 1980 six-gamer Drungo Hazewood, 1978-79/82 reliever John Flinn, 1984-86 reliever Nate Snell, 1977 seven-gamer Dave Criscione, and 1961-62 outfielder Marv Throneberry.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: early fire truck engineer Lysander Button (1810), the last Queen of Hawaii, Lili’uokalani (1838), teacher/Challenger astronaut Christa McAuliffe (1948), NCIS actor Mark Harmon (1951), actor Keanu Reeves (1964), actress Salma Hayek (1966), and nerdcore rapper MC Chris (1975).

On this day in history...

In 31 BC, the Final War of the Roman Republic was decisively settled when a navy led by Octavian defeated one led by Marc Antony and Cleopatra in the Battle of Actium. This was only the final war of the Republic because Rome became an Empire after Octavian consolidated power.

In 1666 AD, the Great Fire of London began as a simple fire in a bakery on Pudding Lane. Three days later, when it was finally put out, it had burned 10,000 buildings.

In 1864, General Sherman’s Union troops entered Atlanta, capturing the city after a four-month campaign. With Atlanta as a base of operations, Sherman could launch his now-well-known March to the Sea within weeks.

In 1901, then-Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was speaking at the Minnesota State Fair when he spoke one of the lines for which he’s now best known: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

In 1945, World War II in the Pacific officially came to an end when the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed aboard the USS Missouri.

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And that’s the way it is on September 2 - or at least, unless something happens later when the Orioles play the Rays. Have a safe Labor Day. Go O’s!