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Thursday Bird Droppings: Ideas for a shortened season start to take shape

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The Orioles aren’t making the World Series this year - but if they do, the games might not even be in Baltimore.

Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

If all had gone according to plan, the 2020 Orioles would now be through their first homestand and off to St. Louis to start their first road series. As we are all by now well aware, the coronavirus had other plans. Instead, a seemingly-interminable March finally did end, and April’s 30 days, which will probably be fully taken up by “the rona” and the isolation necessary to combat its spread, are going to feel even more endless.

On that cheerful note, let’s take a look at the Baseball Reference simulated Orioles. The stats website is running each day’s originally scheduled games in one effort to give themselves and us something to do during all of this.

After losing their first four games, the 2020 simulated O’s broke themselves away from the 1988 losing streak path by winning two in a row against the Red Sox. The latest, a 10-7 win on “Wednesday,” saw the Orioles hit five home runs as part of a barrage of 14 hits and seven walks against Boston.

Alex Cobb’s five innings with three runs allowed were good enough for a win. Anthony Santander and Austin Hays each hit their third home run of the simulated season. If the eventual real 2020 season starts off with so much fun in the outfield, that would be fun.

Six games into the simulated season, Santander (1.284 OPS) and Hays (1.016 OPS) are the top performers. Rio Ruiz and Dwight Smith Jr. have also been good. Most pitchers have not.

The B-Ref simulation updates at about noon Eastern every day, so if you’re reading Bird Droppings in the afternoon, you can check out today’s results too.

Around the blogO’sphere

MLB season likely to start without fans in quest for most games (New York Post)
MLB execs discussing 100-game season that would begin July 1 (NBC Sports)
Shorter seasons with minor league teams in spring training facilities, a neutral site World Series, no All-Star Game, the beginning of the season being played in empty stadiums... it’s all on the table, baby.

More questions coming while baseball remains on hold (School of Roch)
Roch hasn’t lost focus on the big questions like whether Pat Valaika can end up being this year’s version of Hanser Alberto.

‘Future of development’: Orioles’ mental skills coordinator Kathryn Rowe helping players improve in new ways (Baltimore Sun)
I look forward to seeing what she’s able to accomplish once there’s actually, you know, baseball again.

O’s Bleier, Davis cater meals for hospital staffs (Orioles.com)
There are a lot of coronavirus-related stories with bad outcomes or chaos and uncertainty on the way to a better outcome. This is a bit happier of a genre.

With baseball postponed, MASN workers left without pay are wondering what comes next (Washington Post)
...and right back to downer territory. I hope that MASN is able to make this right.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1976, the Orioles acquired Reggie Jackson from the Athletics in a deal that also sent Don Baylor to Oakland.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1996-97 outfielder Pete Incaviglia, 1960-61 reliever Gordon Jones, 1957 pitcher Art Ceccarelli, and 1959 reserve Bobby Avila.

Three players in the Baseball Hall of Fame were also born today: Don Sutton (1945), Luke Appling (1907), and Hughie Jennings (1869).

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Charlemagne, King of the Franks (742), fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805), writer Emile Zola (1840), Chrysler founder Walter Chrysler (1875), actor Alec Guinness (1914), singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye (1939), and rapper Yung Joc (1983).

On this day in history...

In 1513, the explorer Juan Ponce de Leon first sighted land, catching view of territory that is today part of Florida.

In 1800, Ludwig van Beethoven conducted the premiere of his First Symphony in Vienna.

In 1912, RMS Titanic went on its shakedown cruise.

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany in order to bring America into what we now know as World War I.

In 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, sparking the eventual Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 2. Have a safe Thursday.