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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles could equal last year’s win total

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The Orioles have 46 wins right now. Last year, they only won 47. They could match that number today.

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays - Game Two Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Today could turn out to be a momentous day for the Orioles. Okay, calling it momentous is overselling it a bit. Maybe more of a mildly interesting day. The O’s have a chance, with a win in their game tonight against the Rangers, to equal last year’s pathetic 47 wins.

Barring the O’s ending the season with a 24-game losing streak, they will catch and pass the 2018 Orioles at some point between now and the end of September. In some ways it’s hard to believe the team could end up being significantly better in the standings than last year’s losers.

This year’s team really stinks, as those of us who are (fool)hardy enough to have watched significant chunks of Orioles baseball are well aware. Almost none of them have pitched well, whether they are a starter or a reliever. Very few have done anything other than hit poorly. Collectively, they’re horrible at defense and they suck at baserunning too. It’s a disaster area.

The fact that this was all something of an intentional plan has not made it any better to endure in an immediate moment like, say, in Tuesday’s second game when Chris Davis bumbled along the basepath on Jonathan Villar’s double and didn’t score, leading to Villar (who should have been paying closer attention, but also had no real reason to expect Davis to still be standing on third base) getting caught in a rundown and tagged out.

Along with their quest for their 47th win, one other thing that will resume tonight is the Orioles quest to allow 300 home runs. With a full season pace of 315 at present, it’s really only a matter of time, though if the O’s do somehow manage to give up 29 or fewer home runs in their last 23 games, they can avoid having their new record be a completely absurd one.

There have been 229 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 erect his statue at Camden Yards.

Around the blogO’sphere

Soaring Shorebirds: What has made Delmarva baseball’s most successful minor-league team? (The Athletic)
One way to look at the smashing success of the Shorebirds is that their 90 wins, in 24 fewer games than an MLB team, is more wins than the Orioles have gotten in all but three years since 1984.

Despite recent blown leads, Orioles bullpen enjoying one of its best stretches of 2019 (Baltimore Sun)
It’s not quite an “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” kind of headline, although it’s not too far off.

Minor league wrap: Norfolk, Frederick struggle, but Mountcastle, Hall shine (Baltimore Baseball)
I’d be a little more excited about DL Hall if he hadn’t walked 54 batters in 80.2 innings.

The summer of Anthony Santander (Birds Watcher)
Easily in the top three of Orioles success stories this year and quite possibly the #1 spot when the dust settles.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1995, Cal Ripken Jr. played in consecutive game #2,130, tying Lou Gehrig’s record. Ripken went 3-5 with a home run in the record-tying game, and Scott Erickson went the distance in an 8-0 shutout of the California Angels.

A handful of former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 2000-02 pitcher Calvin Maduro, 1995-96 starter Jimmy Haynes, and Tom Patton, a one-gamer for the 1957 Orioles. Today is Patton’s 84th birthday. Happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: Louis XIV of France (1638), outlaw Jesse James (1847), baseball Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie (1874), composer John Cage (1912), actor Bob Newhart (1929), Queen frontman Freddie Mercury (1946), actress Rose McGowan (1973), and gold medal figure skater Yuna Kim (1990).

On this day in history...

In 1781, the French Navy drove off the British Navy from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, preventing the British from relieving a siege in Yorktown, Virginia. The subsequent British defeat in Yorktown effectively ended the Revolutionary War with American independence secured.

In 1969, Army Lt. William Calley was charged with premeditated murder for his role in the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War. He was eventually found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, which President Nixon ordered after one day be transferred to house arrest, and after 3.5 years of house arrest, had his sentence commuted by President Ford to time already served.

In 1975, a former Manson family member, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, attempted to assassinate that same President Ford. Her gun never went off. Fromme was sentenced to life, escaped custody for two days in 1987, and paroled in 2009.

In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager 1 spacecraft, which had the goal of flying by Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn’s moon Titan. Since passing by Saturn in 1980 it has continued outward to a distance of about 13.6 billion miles, the farthest man-made object from Earth. It’s now outside of our solar system and expected to still send back data until 2025.

In 1978, at Camp David in Maryland, Israeli leader Menachim Begin and Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat began negotiations on what became the Camp David Accords.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 5 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Rangers. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!