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Monday Bird Droppings: The anniversary of an Orioles no-hitter

Dwight Smith Jr. is on the cusp of the Players League postseason. Oh yeah, and today was fun to be an O’s fan in 1968.

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Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore’s own Tom Phoebus threw a no-hitter for the Orioles today in 1968.

Hello, friends.

In the parallel universe where everything is the same as this one except that there were neither rain delays nor coronavirus, the Orioles would have played 27 games by now. They would be getting ready to start a four game series against the Royals at home tonight.

In this universe, the only baseball we’re getting for the near future is baseball from Taiwan and South Korea. KBO’s regular season is set to start next week after its own, much shorter, coronavirus delay.

Assuming there is some sort of broadcast deal worked out (ESPN will probably have to do better than offering to pay money later only if it’s popular,) are you going to try to tune in to any of that? It seems like it might be fun - on the scale of what’s available right now - to randomly get really, really into Korean baseball. Former Oriole Tyler Wilson has had some success over the last couple of years for the LG Twins, who play in Seoul. The time difference is a bit prohibitive for trying to watch live, even if they were on TV.

In the meantime, assorted simulated and video game versions of the Orioles roll on. If you missed my posting about it last week, I’ll be starting an Out of the Park Baseball sim where Camden Chat readers can help me make decisions. It’s not too late to get your thoughts in on who should be the fifth starter, who should be the fourth outfielder, and other things - I’ll be running the first couple of series this afternoon.

The Baseball Reference OOTP sim Orioles lost an extra innings contest to the Blue Jays yesterday, 3-1. One of the sim’s scrap heap pitcher signings, Quintin Torres-Costa, took the loss, though simulated Richer Bleier deserves more demerits for giving up the two-run go-ahead 12th inning homer while not retiring a batter. These O’s are 10-17. Three teams, including the Red Sox, still have single digit wins. The O’s are actually 2.5 games ahead of last place in the AL East.

Over in The Athletic Alternate Universe sim, also through OOTP, things have gotten weird. The Dan Connolly-led O’s managed to trade Chris Davis last week; apparently, the Phillies really wanted Mychal Givens and a couple of the O’s lower-tier minor league pitchers.

The MLB Players League regular season is near its end. The Dwight Smith Jr. Orioles were 18-10 when I signed off of his stream last night, fifth place at that time. There are still some games to be played by other players today. Dwight may have a free win coming, if his Twitch chat’s speculation that the Red Sox team has just been forfeiting games after a bad start. The top eight qualify for the postseason, which begin on Friday.

Around the blogO’sphere

LeBlanc on life at home without baseball (School of Roch)
Almost-Oriole Wade LeBlanc tells Roch Kubatko, among other things, that players have been following Smith’s progress in the Players League.

Steve Dalkowski, flame-throwing figure of baseball lore, dies of coronavirus in New Britain (Baltimore Sun)
The former Orioles farmhand who was the inspiration for Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham passed away last week.

Baseball shutdown impacts O’s rebuilding efforts (Steve Melewski)
Whenever the world reaches a point where MLB exists again, we’re going to find out whether it hurts a rebuilding team to have a season where there’s no chance to build anything.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1968, Tom Phoebus threw a no-hitter for the Orioles in an 8-0 victory over the Red Sox. It’s the second-most recent solo no-no for the franchise and third-most recent O’s no-hitter overall. Anyone younger than 50 hasn’t been alive for a solo no-hitter from the O’s. I would love to see one some day. Phoebus was born in Baltimore and went to Mount St. Joseph’s, which makes his achievement for the O’s even cooler.

In 2015, the Orioles game against the White Sox was postponed in the aftermath of the unrest that followed from Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore police custody.

There is one lone former Oriole with a birthday today. It’s Aaron Brooks, who pitched in 14 games for the O’s last year. He’s turning 30. Brooks signed with KBO’s Kia Tigers in the offseason, so he’ll presumably be back in action soon as well.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: philosopher/novelist Mary Wollstonecraft (1759), Morse code namesake Samuel Morse (1791), 18th president Ulysses S. Grant (1822), composer Sergei Prokofiev (1891), baseball Hall of Famers Rogers Hornsby (1896) and Enos Slaughter (1916), civil rights activist Coretta Scott King (1927), actress Jenna Coleman (1986), and rapper Lizzo (1988).

On this day in history...

In 711, the Moors landed at Gibraltar and began a conquest of significant portions of modern day Spain and Portugal. Of all the sentences I ever read in Spanish in school, I remember this one the best: Los moros invadieron a España en 711.

In 1521, while his ships were in the middle of what would become the first circumnavigation of the globe, explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed in the Battle of Mactan in the modern day Philippines.

In 1805, during the First Barbary War, United States Marines attacked the city of Derna, still commemorated today in the “shores of Tripoli” line in the Marines hymn.

In 1945, deposed Italian leader Benito Mussolini was arrested while attempting to escape, disguised as a German soldier, into German-held territory.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 27. Have a safe Monday.