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Monday Bird Droppings: The Brooks Robinson’s birthday edition

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The Orioles legend turns 83 years old today. We hope that he has a good birthday.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles
Brooks Robinson from the ceremony honoring Frank Robinson last year.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

In the parallel universe where everything is exactly the same as this one except that there was no coronavirus and also no rain delays, the Orioles would have played 46 games by now. Today, the team would be in Minnesota to start a three-game set against the Twins and many of us would probably be complaining about non-Eastern start times.

“When will there be Orioles games again?” is a question I’ve wondered about a lot over the last two months. Things are getting closer, at least in the sense that there’s now some sort of firm proposal for the league and the players to negotiate over. That’s progress compared to wild flights of fancy like “Let’s play every game in Arizona!”

On the other hand, the billionaire owners of baseball teams are crying poor at the idea of the players receiving pro-rated salaries based on the number of games played. It seems like demanding further give-backs from players even while making a variety of safety measures that will fall on players, including not being allowed to shower at stadiums and not being allowed to leave the hotels on road trips.

I’d like if the two sides are able to work something out, because it would be nice to get to have Orioles baseball in our lives again - even if the team in whatever shortened season happens this year is probably going to be bad, like the last two full seasons. But if I was a player and I was looking at this stuff, I’d tell the owners to kick rocks.

In the meantime, there are imaginary Orioles losing games. The Baseball Reference Out of the Park Baseball-simulated squad dropped an 8-4 contest to the Rays yesterday to fall to 16-30. It only looked close at all because Anthony Santander had three hits, including two home runs, and drove in three runs. The sim’s scrap heap pitching signing, Kyle Lloyd, gave up five runs in 2.2 innings, while the hitters struck out 11 times in the 6.1 innings pitched by young Rays pitcher Brendan McKay.

Around the blogO’sphere

Long on Núñez: “I see a lot of room for growth” (School of Roch)
Roch notes that with Trey Mancini likely unable to play, Núñez would be the Oriole with the most 2019 home runs on the 2020 roster. Hopefully the hitting coach is right about the potential.

One-time roster changes could lead to unexpected Orioles in 2020 (Baltimore Baseball)
One of the prongs of the MLB shortened season plan would be a 30-man roster with a 20-man taxi squad. Rich Dubroff runs through some of the players who might get a chance with the 26-man roster expanding to 30.

Orioles giving back during coronavirus pandemic (Orioles.com)
Rounding up a variety of team and player initiatives over the last month or so of the pandemic.

Will these minor league southpaws have major league success? (Steve Melewski)
If both of Zac Lowther and Alexander Wells find MLB rotation success, it’s quickly going to become a lot easier to imagine a good Orioles team taking shape.

St. Louis Browns almost move to LA in 1941 (MLB.com)
Turns out that the Browns had a press conference scheduled to announce a move to Los Angeles on December 8, 1941. There’s a heck of an alternate history right there.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Happy birthday to Brooks Robinson! The best third baseman to ever play in MLB turns 83 years old today. Brooks won 16 Gold Gloves along with all of his other accolades in a career that went from 1955-1977.

Other former Orioles who were born on this day are 1976 outfielder Reggie Jackson and 1954-55 outfielder Gil Coan. Coan passed away earlier this year at the age of 97. Jackson is 74 years old today.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your other birthday buddies for today include: poet Omar Khayyam (1098), Nicholas II of Russia (1868), philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872), Pope John Paul II (1920), and actress Tina Fey (1970).

On this day in history...

In 1291, the Mamluk Sultanate captured Acre from the crusaders, effectively ending the effort to maintain or re-establish a Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.

In 1565, the Ottoman Empire laid siege to the island of Malta. They were eventually repelled four months later in what was one of the first victories by the European kingdoms against the advancing Ottomans.

In 1756, Great Britain declared war on France, beginning the Seven Years’ War, which eventually swept up all of the European powers of the time.

In 1896, the United States Supreme Court issued its infamous ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson which established that the “separate but equal” doctrine of segregation was constitutional. The decision has never been explicitly overruled, though 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education began the process to effectively end Plessy’s precedence.

In 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington. There were 57 fatalities and an estimated $3 billion in damage.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 18. Have a safe Monday.