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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Where this feels like a bad joke

In other news: Keep the baseball internet nerdy by reading FanGraphs.

Atlanta Braves v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

I know that many who stop by our daily Bird Droppings post like to skip right to the comments section and begin interacting with the online community that has formed here on Camden Chat. But if you could make a quick pit stop, and read through these next few paragraphs today it would be much appreciated. Thank you!

As a quick primer, FanGraphs is a baseball statistics website that contains both a database of metrics on player performance and also tons of original articles from a talented writing staff. Not to mention, they also conduct a significant amount of scouting, produce podcasts and, by and large, contribute so much to professional baseball as a whole. They are a gem of a site, and we are all fortunate to have them around.

But FanGraphs is having some trouble. The ongoing pandemic, which has postponed the baseball season and impacted the lives of everyone on the planet, has caused issues for the site as well.

In a blog posted on Monday, FanGraphs boss David Appelman detailed the situation. Simply put, the lack of baseball has resulted in unseasonably low traffic on their site. For that reason, Appelman has had to make significant budget cuts, laying off freelance staff and trimming the pay of all full-time staff in order to keep the lights on.

It’s unclear how long FanGraphs can continue in this way without baseball, and the eyeballs that come with it, returning to our lives. But the steps they have taken already are drastic, and the post from Appelman was a call for help. So, let’s help!

If you are able to, please consider purchasing a membership to FanGraphs. They offer a $20/year membership and a $50/year membership. The cheaper option is essentially just a donation as the site does not hide anything behind a paywall, but your money will go directly to making that content. The more expensive membership will allow you to view the site without ads, which should boost the speed at which the site runs for you.

FanGraphs also has a merchandise store that you could peruse, and add some nerdy fashion to your wardrobe.

If you do not have that sort of financial flexibility at this time that is total understandable. In that case (or any case, really), I would recommend adding FanGraphs to your bookmark bar and stopping by their site once or twice a day with your ad blocker turned off to see what they have posted. Their “Effectively Wild” podcast is especially great. But they also post awesome stuff like this, where they interview big league pitchers about their trademark offerings.

The baseball part of the internet, including Camden Chat, is much better off with FanGraphs. We all need to do what we can to make sure they stick around for a very long time. Whether that is through a membership or simply being a regular reader, every little bit matters.

Links & Notes

Orioles slugger Chris Davis expects to return to spring form - ESPN
Oh how I yearn to go back to the days when we could speculate about how Chris Davis’s spring performances would translate to the summer. Hopefully we can actually get to find out at some point.

Draft math: O’s to top 2019 total pool in just five rounds this year - Steve Melewski
The exact details on the upcoming first-year player draft have not been worked out just yet. But it will definitely be different. While a five or 10-round draft will still provide the Orioles with ample chances to add talent to their organization, it will also remove their ability to sign someone like Toby Welk, who was picked in the 21st round in 2019 out of a DIII school and then went on to slash .330/.388/.467 in his first season professional ball.

Orioles, Walters Art Museum Providing Online Activities For Kids Out Of School Due To COVID-19 - CBS Baltimore
Here is a small dose of happy news in some otherwise dark times.

Stevie Wilkerson wants to show he’s essential for Orioles in 2020 - Baltimore Baseball
It’s gonna be tough for Stevie Wilkerson to regain a spot on the Orioles roster. He isn’t on the 40-man. The team added quite a few “utility” types in the off-season. And the 28-year-old Wilkerson, although fun to watch, has enough of a track record in the big leagues that indicates he just isn’t very good.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Rich Amaral is 58 years old today. He spent most of his 10-year career with the Seattle Mariners, but played in 121 games for the O’s between 1999 and 2000, slashing .259/.333/.325 in the process.

And it is the 62nd birthday of Mike Kinnunen. The left-handed pitcher tossed 27 total innings across two seasons between 1986-87 and accumulated a 5.33 ERA as an Oriole.

2010 - The Orioles pick up infielder Julio Lugo on waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals.