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Weekend Bird Droppings: Where Dwight Smith Jr. is repping the Orioles in a video game tournament

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It’s another weekend without baseball, but MLB is attempting to keep us entertained.

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Baltimore Orioles v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Ideas on how to salvage any piece of the 2020 MLB season keep being leaked. This latest one, first reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, would include a temporary league-wide restructuring in which teams would participate in their respective spring training leagues (Grapefruit in Florida, Cactus in Arizona) for the entire campaign.

In this specific scenario, it would force the Orioles move from the AL East to the Grapefruit South. This division would be made up of the O’s, Red Sox, Twins, Braves and Rays. So, to answer your first question, no this would not improve the Orioles playoff chances in any way, but we would get the chance to watch Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz more often.

Just like every other proposal up this point, no fans would be in attendance at these games, which seems easy enough to make happen. A tricky part could be attaining housing for every player and, again, the extreme heat in both places could be difficult in mid summer.

Not to mention, even if fans and stadium workers are removed from this process entirely, we are still talking about dozens of people (players, coaches, training staff, umpires, journalists) being in close quarters. Sure, if proper safety precautions are taken then they all could only interact with one another and make their chances of contracting the virus minimal, but why even risk it?

Baseball is a lot of fun to watch. I think just about all of us who frequent this site would agree on that point. But if the choice here is between one year without baseball and an increased likelihood of spreading a dangerous disease then it feels like a pretty easy decision. Until there is a vaccine these plans feel like a pipe dream.

Links

Introducing FanGraphs Prep! - FanGraphs
For many of us, myself included, learning is much easier when it is packaged in a way that I find interesting. It’s like how you have to stick your dog’s heartworm medicine in a piece of cheese to get him to choke it down. FanGraphs is trying to do that for math and writing in a way that is appealing for young baseball fans.

PSA Plays MLB The Show: Things got ugly - Pinstripe Alley
Our friends over at Pinstripe Alley are playing the Yankees 2020 season on MLB The Show. Things were going well for them...until they ran into an Orioles buzzsaw.

30 stars to compete in ‘MLB The Show’ lead - MLB.com
This is pretty neat. MLB is joining what many of us are doing during this time on no sports and little new entertainment on TV. They are turning to video games. Each team is represented by one player, and each player will be player 29 games (one against every other player) over the course of three weeks to crown a champion. Dwight Smith Jr. will rep the Orioles. No word on if they have to use their own team. If they do then I would hope Smith is extremely good at the game, because he is gonna need every ounce of skill to make the virtual Orioles competitive.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Alejandro De Aza turns 36 today. Although he appeared in only 50 total regular season games for the O’s over two seasons, De Aza was a fairly important late-season addition to the division-winning squad in 2014 that made it to the ALCS.

Happy 54th birthday to Steve Scarsone, an infielder that played in just 11 games for the Orioles, all of which came during the 1992 season.

And it is a posthumous celebration for Willie Royster (b. 1954, d. 2015) and Art Quirk (b. 1938, d. 2013). Royster was an Orioles catcher for four games in 1981. Quirk was a left-handed pitcher who appeared in seven games for the 1962 Birds.

1961 - The expansion Los Angeles Angels play the first game in franchise history. The beat up on the O’s, winning 7-2 thanks to two home runs from Ted Kluszewski and an Eli Grba complete game.

2002 - It’s a record-setting game for the Orioles. They score a franchise-high 12 runs on 11 hits in the sixth inning and beat the Rays 15-6. David Segui leads the way with four hits, a walk, two runs and three RBI.