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Monday Bird Droppings: Where MLB is still trying to figure out when and how to play

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The latest MLB backup plan to be leaked would have the Orioles in Florida in a division with the Red Sox, Twins, Braves, and Rays.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

In another world where there was neither coronavirus nor rain or other postponements, the Orioles would have played in 16 games by now. Today was going to be an off day regardless. MLB continues its brainstorming for what might be the most baseball it can get away with, or the least necessary to pull off something that might be called a season.

The “Arizona plan” of two weeks ago has been joined by the “Florida and Arizona plan,” in which teams would just play in their spring training homes and instead of an American League and a National League it would be a regular season Grapefruit League and Cactus League.

This would be a really weird thing, but less weird than the Arizona-only plan. I hope such contingencies aren’t necessary at all, though since no one is totally sure when “back to normal” will be practical, it’s good that MLB is thinking outside of the box.

In the meantime, there are now a variety of different simulated Orioles teams for you to keep track of, if imaginary baseball is something that might fill even a tiny bit of the baseball-sized void in your life.

The Baseball Reference simulation using Out of the Park Baseball continues. Those Orioles were beaten “yesterday” by the Pirates, 8-4. They lost despite Austin Hays hitting two more home run, as a six-run seventh inning authored by Miguel Castro and some other jabroni named Eduardo Paredes. The B-Ref sim Orioles are 6-10. There are five teams with fewer wins.

Elsewhere, the simulated version former Oriole Nelson Cruz cracked his fifth home run of the season as his Twins shellacked the White Sox, 20-8 in 12 innings. No, really. Kevin Gausman was the winning pitcher for the Giants as they beat Manny Machado’s Padres, 7-1.

The Athletic is also running an simulated OOTP league, with various writers deputized to make roster moves. The sim Orioles under Dan Connolly’s care have already lost Alex Cobb for the year and had injuries to both fake Chance Sisco and Austin Wynns. They were 3-9 a couple of days ago.

Then there’s the MLB-sanctioned The Show league, where one player from each team will compete with his own team in the game in a round robin style tournament. The Dwight Smith Jr.-led Orioles will play their first games tonight.

Around the blogO’sphere

This, that, and the other (School of Roch)
Roch was seeing good things from reliever Isaac Mattson, part of the Dylan Bundy trade, before everything shut down.

Pine tar, ‘Winning Ugly’, and birds? ‘83 was weird (Orioles.com)
There are few bad occasions to think about the most recent Orioles team to win the World Series.

Now pondering the Arizona/Florida plan (Steve Melewski)
Steve has some thoughts on the details of the latest MLB backup plan, which would entail a 108-game regular season with the Orioles in a division with the Red Sox, Twins, Braves, and Rays. It would be weird.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1954, the Orioles played their first ever game. They lost, 3-0, to the Tigers in Detroit.

In 1966, the O’s improved to a 2-0 start to the season by beating the Red Sox, 8-1, in a game in which future Hall of Famers Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, and Jim Palmer all homered. Palmer went the distance despite walking eight batters; his home run was one of just three he hit in his career.

There is one lone former Oriole with a birthday today: 2012-16 everyman Steve Pearce, of whom I remain fond despite his later postseason success for Boston. Pearce turns 37 today.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: failed assassin Guy Fawkes (1570), third president Thomas Jefferson (1743), outlaw Butch Cassidy (1866), novelist Eudora Welty (1909), E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg (1951), chess master Garry Kasparov (1963), and actress Allison Williams (1988).

On this day in history...

In 1742, Handel’s “Messiah” premiered in Dublin. The “Hallelujah” chorus, which concludes its second of three parts, remains a popular piece of music on into today.

In 1861, near the start of the Civil War, Fort Sumter in South Carolina surrendered to Confederate forces.

In 1943, the discovery of a mass grave of Polish POWs who had been executed by the Soviet secret police (NKVD) three years previously was announced. Around 22,000 were killed in the Katyn Forest Massacre. At the time, the Soviets claimed the Nazis, who found the graves, had committed the killings, but in 1990 they at last acknowledged the NKVD did it.

In 1964, Sidney Poitier won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Lilies of the Field. He became the first African-American man to win this award.

In 1970, an oxygen tank exploded on Apollo 13, which was on its mission to land on the moon. setting off four frantic days in which the crew was safely returned to Earth.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 13. Have a safe Monday.