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Friday Bird Droppings: Where it’s closing weekend at Camden Yards

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After three more games, the curtain will come down on the Orioles’ 2019 home schedule. And not a moment too soon.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

It’s almost time. After the O’s host the Mariners for three games this weekend, they’ll be finished with their home schedule for 2019. So come out to Camden Yards to say goodbye...or maybe good riddance.

That’s not to disparage the wonderful ballpark, of course, which is always a pleasant place to take in a game. But the Orioles have had absolutely no luck actually winning games at home this year, going 23-55 and getting swept eight times, while winning only four series. They’ve been marginally better on the road, where they have a 26-49 mark.

No matter how their series against the Mariners turns out, the O’s have already assured themselves of the worst home record in franchise history, “topping” last year’s woeful 28-53 mark. So much for home field advantage.

The Orioles lost yet again at Camden Yards last night, with the Blue Jays finishing off the three-game sweep by destroying the combustible O’s bullpen. You can read the grisly details in Alex Church’s recap.

So enjoy these last three home games of 2019. Just don’t hold your breath for the Orioles to have much success.

Links

Austin Hays on finishing strong and playing with Ryan Mountcastle - Steve Melewski
This interview was conducted even before Hays hit a home run and made a spectacular defensive play last night. Yeah, I’d say he's definitely finishing strong.

Hays robs Vlad Jr. in catch of year candidate - Orioles.com
And here’s a clip of that aforementioned spectacular catch by Hays. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to have a center fielder who was capable of making that kind of play.

‘Why the hell are you here?’ Unlocking the mystery of why fans attended an Orioles-Blue Jays’ September stinker – The Athletic
With only a couple thousand people in the stands for Wednesday night’s game, Dan Connolly actually went out and interviewed a bunch of them. So if you need some incentive to attend an O’s game this weekend, just think: you might get national media recognition!

Hunter Harvey disappointed but understands why Orioles shut him down - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Because we can’t have nice things, Hunter Harvey is getting shut down for the season. The injury is supposedly minor, and obviously it makes sense to play it safe. But with Harvey’s health history, I can't help but panic whenever anything is amiss.

Mountcastle, Baumann, Rodriguez among Orioles award winners - School of Roch
In a year like this, it’s always nice to dream about what could be coming down the pike when the likes of Mountcastle, Baumann, Rodriguez, and other O’s prospects make it to the bigs. Congrats to the winners.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! None of your O’s birthday buddies spent more than a year with the club. They include 1972 righty Roric Harrison (73), 1990 outfielder Dave Gallagher (59), and 2014 infielder Steve Lombardozzi (31).

On this day in 1998, Cal Ripken Jr. shocked the baseball world by abruptly ending his record consecutive-games streak at 2,632, informing manager Ray Miller just before the game that he was going to sit out that night’s home finale against the Yankees.

I happened to be at that game, and as I recall, the lineups weren’t announced on the P.A., just posted briefly on the scoreboard before the game. Many people in the stands didn’t seem to be aware of what was happening until the top of the first inning began and Ryan Minor took the field at third base instead of Cal. After the first batter, Ripken popped out of the dugout to a raucous standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 48,013 at Camden Yards.

What a night that was. I don’t remember anything else about that game, but it was one of the most incredible nights in Baltimore sports history, and all because of a guy who wasn’t playing.