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Thursday Bird Droppings: Pondering another strange, wild idea for 2020 baseball

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An MLB season that starts on July 2 with three divisions of ten teams and no leagues? Sure, why not?

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2019 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings
Rob Manfred and company are floating one trial balloon after another as they search for 2020 answers.
Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

In the parallel universe where everything is exactly the same as this one except there are neither coronavirus nor rain postponements, the Orioles would have played 33 games by now. This afternoon would mark the close of a homestand with a game against the Royals. Instead, well, you know.

If you didn’t see it last night, the Orioles have announced a refund/credit policy for all home games through May 31. You can read the FAQ for yourself if you want, but the highlights are that you can choose to get a 125% credit that can be applied to any 2020, 2021, or 2022 regular season game, or a refund. Tickets purchased through outside places like StubHub have to be dealt with there and not through the Orioles.

The Baseball Reference simulated Orioles picked up a win over the Royals “yesterday,” winning an 8-3 contest that saw Jose Iglesias drive in four runs with his first two homers of the season, with Austin Hays adding a seventh 2020 homer in the game. These O’s are now 13-17, 2.5 games ahead of the last place Red Sox. In all, there are seven teams with fewer wins.

Look for another update to the Camden Chat-run Out of the Park Baseball simulated Orioles a little later this morning.

Dwight Smith Jr.’s adventure in the MLB Players League will go through at least the quarterfinals, which he’ll be playing at either 10pm on Friday or 3pm on Saturday. Stay tuned!

Around the blogO’sphere

Mancini: “I have no doubt in my mind I’ll be back playing baseball” (School of Roch)
You probably already know Trey Mancini is the best. He did a Zoom call with Orioles reporters yesterday and offered more reminders of why he’s the best.

Here are 2020’s top 30 international prospects (MLB.com)
Only the top five players are ranked and four of those five indicate teams that aren’t the O’s are strong favorites to land them. Hopefully the O’s can be factors in signing more of the better prospects as time goes along.

The latest plan for MLB (Steve Melewski)
The weird what-if scenario for baseball making the rounds this week is a season with three divisions of ten teams, with games probably beginning in Arizona and Florida and maybe eventually returning to their regular cities.

A day of no cheers: An oral history of Baltimore’s no fans game, five years later (The Athletic)
This game is all anyone can think about when the idea of playing in an empty stadium is brought up. It may have a lot of company before 2020 is done.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1967, the Orioles had a combined no-hitter pitched by Steve Barber (8.1 IP) and Stu Miller (0.2 IP). However, the O’s lost the game, 2-1, with both runs scoring in the ninth inning. Barber issued ten walks in the game, including three in the ninth.

There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2019 catcher Jesus Sucre, and 1997-98 infielder and postseason Randy Johnson destroyer Jeff Reboulet.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777), Challenger astronaut Michael J. Smith (1945), basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas (1961), race car driver Michael Waltrip (1963), Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon (1981), actress Kirsten Dunst (1982), actress Gal Gadot (1985), and rapper Travis Scott (1992).

On this day in history...

In 1789, George Washington took the oath of office in New York City and became the first elected president of the United States of America.

In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed. Adding the Louisiana Territory to the United States for a cost of $15 million more than doubled the size of the country.

In 1975, the Vietnam War came to an end as North Vietnamese forces took control of Saigon and South Vietnam’s president surrendered unconditionally.

In 2004, photos of abuse by American military personnel of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib were released in US media.

In 2008, skeletal remains found near Yekaterinburg, Russia, were confirmed by Russian scientist to be Alexei and Anastasia, children of the last tsar, long suspected but never before definitively proven to have been killed with the rest of their family by Bolsheviks in 1918.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 30. Have a safe Thursday.