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Monday Bird Droppings: The anniversary of a bad Orioles record

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Today in 1988, the Orioles set a new MLB record for worst record to begin a season as they fell to 0-14.

Baltimore Orioles
Things weren’t good for the O’s even after Frank took over a few games into the 1988 season.
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

In the alternate universe where everything is exactly the same as this one except that there is no COVID-19 and no rain-related postponements, the Orioles would have played 21 games by now. Today, they’d be headed out to California to begin a series against the Angels. Instead, well, you know.

Assorted video game simulated versions of the Orioles will have to carry us through for now. Through “yesterday’s” games, you may be surprised to know that the O’s of the Baseball Reference-run Out of the Park Baseball simulation are not only not the worst team in MLB, they’re not even in last place in the AL East. The Red Sox, at 8-15, are below the 8-13 Orioles. An additional five teams, including those Angels, have fewer than the O’s eight wins.

These simulated Orioles pulled off a 4-1 victory over the Royals to close out a series yesterday. They out-hit KC 15-4, with every member of the starting lineup getting at least one hit. Scrap heap starting pitcher signing Kyle Lloyd gave up a run in five innings and simulated Mychal Givens picked up his fifth save. The OOTP simulation had Trey Mancini come off of the injured list on Saturday; he led the team with three hits in this one.

Today’s simulation, which will run at noon, has Dylan Bundy starting for the Angels against the O’s. The simulation has been unkind to Bundy so far, as he has a 10.66 ERA. It hasn’t been much kinder to John Means, starting for the O’s with a 6.62 ERA to date.

The other video game Orioles going right now are under the control of Dwight Smith Jr. in MLB’s players league, being played through MLB The Show 20. One player is representing each team, playing his own team, and playing each other team once. Smith played another four of his league games last night, splitting two games.

That included a finale against Niko Goodrum’s Tigers where Dwight blew the game open so severely that Goodrum called him up on the phone in real life while the game was going on, in disbelief that he couldn’t get the Orioles out. In the game, Smith turned a 1-0 lead into 17-0.

Smith is 11-5 overall and is in fourth place in the league so far. His next games are scheduled for Tuesday night. I’ve been surprised with how fun it is. I’m more of a Dwight Smith Jr. fan than I was before this started. It’s especially great when he starts laughing.

Around the blogO’sphere

Closing in on Orioles bullpen bests and blunders (School of Roch)
Roch recollects some of the good and bad ghosts of Orioles past, a list thorough enough to include Heathcliff Slocumb.

Five ways delayed season affects Orioles plans (Baltimore Baseball)
Why is it always five? Rich Dubroff has some things you might have thought of and some things you might have not, like how arbitration could be handled next winter.

Complete MLB dream bracket rosters (Orioles.com)
Starting today, MLB is getting in on the simulated baseball game with a bracket of all-time teams for each franchise. What do you think about their O’s choices?

O’s farm pitcher Gray Fenter remembers his big 2019 season (Steve Melewski)
It feels like 2019 was a lot longer ago than it was, you know?

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1988, the Orioles set a new MLB record for a losing streak to start a season. They dropped an 8-6 contest to the Brewers to fall to 0-14, and as you probably remember, they went on to lose seven more just to make that the unbreakable record. The 1997 Cubs equaled an 0-14 start but won their 15th game on this date.

Out of all the players to ever play for the Orioles, not a single one was born on this day.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: longtime Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (1920), actor George Takei (1937), author Peter S. Beagle (1939), singer-songwriter Luther Vandross (1951), and rapper Killer Mike (1975).

On this day in history...

In 1453, four ships broke through the Ottoman blockade of Constantinople to deliver men and supplies, though the city still fell at the end of the next month.

In 1775, colonial militia surrounded Boston following the previous day’s Battles of Lexington and Concord, kicking off an 11-month siege that culminated in the British abandoning the port.

In 1898, President McKinley signed a declaration of war against Spain, kicking off the Spanish-American War.

In 1999, two gunmen killed 13 people and injured another 24 before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Colorado.

In 2010, the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded. Eleven workers on the rig were killed in what became the largest marine oil spill ever; an estimated 210 million gallons of oil flooded into the Gulf of Mexico before the well was proclaimed sealed in September.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 20. Have a safe Monday. Yes, it’s Monday.