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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Where we are all living in the past

As has been the case for a few weeks now, there is no actual Orioles news.

California Angels v Baltimore Orioles

Good morning, Birdland!

At this point, we have all come to grips with the reality of the situation. Live sports aren’t going to be back in our lives for quite some time. The sports entertainment world is starting to adjust. TV Networks are airing old games. Social media accounts are coordinating re-watches of classic match-ups. As with everything else in life, we adjust and it works out.

But it does feel like these networks are missing out on a chance to repackage these old games and make them into something that could be more worthwhile than a simple re-airing of the exact same game from decades ago.

What about bringing back something like the show “Cheap Seats?” For those unfamiliar, it was basically Mystery Science Theater 3000 but with sports. The two hosts watched cringy old “sports” (like strong man competitions or celebrity fishing tournaments) and heckled the worst parts. It was great! The 1996 Spelling Bee is an especially good episode.

Or how about the networks show the old games, but do so in a commentary style where a noteworthy player or coach that was involved in the game rewatches with a host and gives their two cents. Tony Romo is great on CBS, but how would he do if he had to explain what happened when he fumbled away the football in the 2007 wild card game against the Seahawks?

These are things that would likely have pretty poor production value given the current limitations on what can and cannot be done while social distancing. But it could make for a more interesting re-watch, and do more to pull me away from my latest binge watch session and push me towards nine innings of baseball of which I already know the outcome.

Links & Notes

How it might look in 2020: O’s outfield - Steve Melewski
The argument could be made that a fully healthy outfield is the most interesting aspect of these Orioles. Austin Hays has the allure of a once top prospect. Anthony Santander has shown surprising promise for a former Rule 5 pick. And Trey Mancini is far and away the best hitter on the roster.

Native Baltimorean, Hall of Famer Al Kaline ‘was a special guy’ - Al Kaline
Even though Al Kaline is a Baltimore native I can’t say that I ever knew much about him. For whatever reason, he is rarely mentioned among the list of elite athletes to come out of the city. It’s unfortunate that his passing is what spurred me to learn more.

Ripken Foundation pitching in to feed the hungry -
Cal Ripken Jr. is on Twitter now with his stated goal of raising funds for those affected by COVID-19 via Feeding America and other partners. That’s pretty cool! A lot of people are struggling right now, so every little bit helps. Good on the Iron Man.

Untold tales of Cal Ripken Jr., the Iron Man who saved baseball - ESPN
More Cal content! Can you tell that ESPN showed the 2131 game last night? When real time games don’t exist, we all have to resort to re-examining the past. Can’t say we blame them. We are over here recapping the entire 1970 season!

MLB, union focused on plan that could allow season to start as early as May in Arizona - ESPN
Is this a real idea? Or was it just a test balloon to see how everyone would react? It’s safe to say that the reaction has been less than satisfied. I want to watch real baseball as much as anyone, and I would have no problem with them playing in front of empty stadiums. But May feels optimistic regardless of the presence of fans. And that is to say nothing of any logistically issues that may arise with playing every game in the middle of the summer in Arizona.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Former AL Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson turns 33 today. The right-handed pitcher appeared in 10 games for the 2017 Orioles, but he was pretty terrible, accumulating a 6.97 ERA over 51.2 innings. He was part of the World Series winning team put together down in D.C. last summer and retired from baseball this off-season after dealing with shoulder injuries.

It is the 39th birthday of Brian Burres. The southpaw came to the O’s via a waiver claim in 2006. He went on to toss 258.2 innings in the black and orange from ‘06-’08 before hitting free agency and signing on with the Pirates organization. He has been out of affiliated ball since 2014.

Jeremy Guthrie is 41 years old today. The right-hander started Opening Day for the Orioles three times and was consistently the team’s best pitcher during his time with the club from 2007 to 2011. He caught some hate around Birdland for donning a “punny” shirt while addressing the press during the 2014 ALCS in which Guthrie’s Royals beat his former employer. But he should be remembered as one of the better players on some terrible Orioles teams.

Charlie Maxwell is 93. The two-time all-star played 14 season of big league baseball, but only four games were spent with the O’s, all during the 1955 campaign.

And it is a posthumous celebration for pitcher Dick Luebke (b. 1935, d. 1974). He pitched in 10 games for the 1962 O’s, which would prove to be his only big league experience.

1954 - The Orioles purchase Dave Koslo, a 34-year-old left-handed pitcher in the midst of his 11th MLB season, from the New York (baseball) Giants. He would be released less than two months later.

2019 - Chris Davis makes history. His 0-for-5 performance in a 12-4 win over the Athletics means that he has now gone hitless in 49 consecutive at-bats, breaking the record of 46 previously set by Eugenio Velez of the San Francisco Giants.