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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where we’re making up games to pass the time

With no action on the baseball field, try this O’s word search or take some Orioles quizzes.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

I hope you’ve all found things to keep you occupied while we slog through the interminable wait for baseball. Yesterday I stumbled across this delightful word search challenge from baseball writer Jon Roegele on Twitter.

The task is to find the full name of a baseball Hall of Famer hidden in each sentence, ignoring any punctuation, capitalization, or spaces between words. For example — and apologies for spoiling one of the answers — in sentence 10, Hall of Famer (and brief former Oriole) Tim Raines is hidden in the words “verbatim: rain, especially.”

Some are trickier than others, but I was able to find all 10. And that got me thinking: why not try a similar word search for Orioles?

I’ve written five sentences below, each hiding the full name of an Oriole. They include two Orioles Legends, one current Oriole, and two inductees to the Orioles Hall of Fame. How many can you find?

  1. Members of the aviary staff rank robins one of the top three North American birds, along with starlings and sparrows.
  2. The oyster we found produced such a sparkly, white pearl, we averted our eyes so we wouldn’t get blinded.
  3. What are the chances I score seats right behind home plate the next time the Orioles are in the World Series?
  4. The culinary school enrollee may focus her studies on food business management or on baking and pastry arts.
  5. I’ve watched Cal Ripken single tons of times, but nothing beats witnessing an Iron Man home run. (Note: There’s a hidden Oriole in here aside from Cal Ripken!)

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe...

In a universe where COVID-19 doesn’t exist, the Orioles’ first road trip of the season took them yesterday to Yankee Stadium, where last year they gave up 18 home runs in nine games. This time, while the Yanks flashed the long ball lumber again — including two Gleyber Torres homers — the Birds won the slugfest. Chris Davis, Renato Nunez, and Dwight Smith Jr. blasted bombs off opener Chad Green, and the O’s added five runs against former Oriole Andrew Cashner, whom the Yankees signed in desperation after injuries to J.A. Happ, James Paxton, and Luis Severino.

The run support was plenty good enough for John Means, who improved to 3-0 on the young season. The Orioles improved to 7-3, while the Yankees fell to 2-8. Don’t worry, fans in New York are handling it totally fine.

Simulation brought to you by the PWAG (Paul’s Wild-Ass Guesses) system.


The great Orioles quiz - pandemic edition -
If you’re looking for a game that’s a little more challenging than my word search, try Rich Dubroff’s Orioles history quiz. I don’t think I know even half these answers.

Take this Orioles quiz - Steve Melewski
And here’s yet another Orioles quiz, this time focused on current players. I still don’t know half the answers. Am I just...not very knowledgeable about this team?

Can the U.S. return to sports soon? South Korea might offer clues -
Former Oriole Dan Straily, now pitching in Korea, is among the players quoted in this story about the possibility of the KBO beginning its season at the end of April. That would be encouraging! Of course, South Korea handled its coronavirus crisis about as perfectly as possible while the United States, uh, didn’t.

Orioles’ Top 5 second basemen: Trezza’s take -
Joe Trezza ranks the top five second basemen in Orioles history. My write-in campaign for Brandon Fahey, sadly, seems to have fallen short.

Baltimore Orioles all-time team: Cal Ripken Jr., Brooks Robinson make a formidable left side -
Matt Snyder constructs his all-time Orioles team, and while I agree with most of the selections, I must deduct points for choosing George Sisler for his bench. A St. Louis Brown does not belong on the all-time Baltimore Orioles team.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You share your day with Baltimore native Tom Phoebus (b. 1942, d. 2019), whose five-year O’s career was highlighted by a no-hitter he threw on April 27, 1968. And it’s the 51st birthday of 1999 righty Ricky Bones, whose last name was pronounced BO-ness. It’s a running joke in my household that for any phrase that includes the word “bones,” like “lazy bones,” we pronounce it BO-ness. You, uh, kind of had to be there.

On this day three years ago, the O’s acquired Miguel Castro from the Rockies for minor leaguer Jon Keller, who retired later that year. Castro has been a mainstay in the Birds’ bullpen ever since, posting a 4.06 ERA in three seasons in Baltimore.

On this day 50 years ago, the Orioles began their eventual World Series championship season with an Opening Day victory in Cleveland. At the time, April 7 was the earliest date the O’s had ever started a season.