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Wednesday Bird Droppings: The 300 home runs allowed edition

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The Orioles quest to give up home runs has crossed the 300 mark. They won last night anyway.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays
This photo is of the Orioles hitting, rather than giving up, a home run.
Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

The 2019 Orioles season is winding down and despite the occasional worst efforts of the pitching staff leading to a recent series of especially stupid losses, the O’s win total continues to increase as well. With an 11-4 shellacking of the Blue Jays last night, they picked up their 52nd win of the season - an awful number of wins, but still five more than last year, with four games left to play. Check out Paul Folkemer’s recap for some lovely totals.

The 11 runs that the Orioles scored in last night’s game kicks them up to 710 runs scored on the season. That’s five runs more than were scored by the 2014 AL East-winning Orioles, though of course, those O’s gave up nearly 400 fewer runs. It’s a different run environment, too, what with the juiced baseballs and whatever else is going on. A lot has changed in five years. Still, things have gone right at times with the O’s offense, and that’s worth appreciating, especially since there’s not much else to appreciate about this team.

Also in last night’s game was a less exciting milestone. The Orioles surrendered their 300th home run of the season. As you know, they have stood alone for some time ever since they passed the old record of 258 by the 2016 Reds. The Rockies recently passed the old Reds record, and both the Angels and Mariners are in danger of doing so before the season’s end.

Will the Orioles prove to be so awful that the 300+ marker remains a durable record even in this home run era, or will a future tanking team be along in a year or two to knock them off the perch? I’ll be rooting for that second outcome for the same reason that every April I root for some very bad baseball team to unseat the 1988 Orioles for worst start of a season. I would like the Orioles to not hold any bad records of any sort.

Non-baseball discussion question for today: As the “big three” network shows start to return or debut this week, what show’s return, or debut, are you most looking forward to seeing?

There have been 249 days since Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The team has not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey number or add his statue to Legends Plaza at Camden Yards.

Around the blogO’sphere

Mancini ‘not afraid’ to become O’s new leader (Orioles.com)
Trey Mancini, looking ahead to 2020, is ready to start embracing the veteran in the clubhouse who sometimes has tough conversations with players who aren’t delivering.

Orioles attendance falls by more than 250,000 in 2019; Elias vows fans will be ‘back in a big way’ (Baltimore Baseball)
Of course it’s no shock that Orioles attendance sank this year. Still kind of an “Oof!” reaction to the number.

More on Elias’s media session (School of Roch)
Sentences like this one remind everyone not to get their hopes up for next season: “The record in 2020 isn’t the least bit important in the grand scheme.”

2020 prediction: Ryan Mountcastle will be with Orioles by mid-April (Press Box Online)
This would be the standard time to call up a player to get the extra year of service time. I’d be glad to see it happen.

As O’s bullpen struggles overall, Evan Phillips gets on a nice roll (Steve Melewski)
One sign of where things are with the Orioles bullpen is that “six straight scoreless outings” is all it takes to generate a positive article from an O’s beat writer.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1983, the Orioles beat the Brewers, 5-1, to clinch the American League East. Storm Davis and Tippy Martinez combined to allow just six hits the whole way.

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2015-17 pitcher Tyler Wilson, 2016 swingman Vance Worley, and 2009-11 pitcher Brad Bergesen.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: novelist William Faulkner (1897), baseball Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto (1917), journalist Barbara Walters (1929), illustrator/author Shel Silverstein (1930), actor Mark Hamill (1951), actor/rapper Will Smith (1968), actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (1969), and actor/Childish Gambino Donald Glover (1983).

On this day in history...

In 1066, the invading King of Norway, Harald Hardrada, was defeated and killed in the Battle of Stamford Bridge by King Harold II of England, ending one of the last major Viking raids. Three days later, William of Normandy landed in Sussex, and within a month Harold himself was killed in the Battle of Hastings.

In 1789, Congress passed a series of twelve amendments and sent them to the states for ratification, including the ten that have become known as the Bill of Rights.

In 1957, Little Rock’s Central High School was desegregated, with President Eisenhower ordering the US Army in to ensure it took place.

In 1974, the first-ever Tommy John surgery (ulnar collateral ligament replacement) was performed on... Tommy John. Dr. Frank Jobe was the first doctor to do the surgery.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 25 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles close out their series against the Blue Jays. Have a safe Wednesday. Go O’s!