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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where a big free agent is available

And I do mean big.

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MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics
How perfect that this photo was taken by a guy named “Hefti.”
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

While we continue to wait and see whether a 2020 MLB season is going to happen, let’s think about what the Orioles’ roster is going to look like when and if the campaign begins.

The O’s, as we all know, are painfully short on starting pitching depth. Their current rotation consists of John Means, a fragile Alex Cobb, an untested Asher Wojciechowski, and two hot dog vendors who were randomly pulled out of the stands in spring training. At least I think that’s the plan.

The Orioles could clearly use another major league-ready starting pitcher. And it just so happens that there’s a free agent out there, just ripe for the picking, who has 552 career starts, 247 wins, and more than 3,400 innings pitched...and is also a roly-poly barrel of fun whose every action on a baseball field incites joy.

Yes, friends, Bartolo Colon wants to pitch one more season in the majors. Big Sexy is angling for a comeback.

And the Orioles are just the team to give him that opportunity.

Sure, Colon is turning 47 years old next week. Sure, he’s listed on Baseball Reference as 285 pounds (and that was before he put his other foot on the scale). Sure, he didn’t pitch in the majors last year, and had a combined 6.13 ERA in his two seasons before that.

But come on, the guy is a hoot! Look at how his teammates turned into giddy schoolchildren when he hit his first career home run at age 43. Look at how he fields his position with catlike quickness. And don’t forget about the time he threw 38 consecutive strikes in an outing. He does it all.

Plus, he’s got plenty of history with the Orioles. He picked up a win against the O’s as a member of seven different teams, the first pitcher in MLB history ever to do that to a club.

Come on, Orioles. Let’s make this happen. Once there’s a start date for the season and the transaction freeze is lifted, it’s time to make Bartolo Colon a 2020 Baltimore Oriole.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe...

In a universe where COVID-19 doesn’t exist, the Orioles began a three-game series in Minnesota last night. Last year, the Twins were the windshield to the Orioles’ bug, sweeping the season series while hammering an unbelievable 23 home runs in six games off O’s pitchers.

Last night, the Orioles returned the favor. The O’s set a new major league record by blasting 11 home runs in one game, including at least one from every hitter in the lineup. The tone was set early when the Orioles went back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back to begin the game. The Orioles would have added several more home runs to their total, but by the end of the game they started intentionally running out of the base line to get called out after hitting the ball over the fence, just to save the Twins some embarrassment. Final score: Orioles 25, Twins 3.

With the victory, the Orioles improved their record to 37-10. They still can’t believe they lost 10.

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


60 Moments: No. 43, Jim Palmer outduels Sandy Koufax in the 1966 World Series – The Athletic
Joe Posnanski couldn’t find room for Jim Palmer in his Top 100 players list, but he makes up for it here with a nice bio of the O’s legend and a recap of his memorable World Series victory. As is decreed by law, he mentions that Palmer never gave up a grand slam.

Orioles’ Top 5 designated hitters: Trezza’s take -
Joe Trezza ranks the best DHs in O’s history, and a Maryland-born, recently inducted Hall of Famer tops the list. So you’re telling me it’s not Chris Richard?

Mountcastle on workouts, hopes for season and more (with video) - Steve Melewski
If the 2020 MLB season actually happens and the minor league season doesn’t, what becomes of a guy like Mountcastle? There won't be any farm teams to send him to, so will the O’s just bring him to the bigs? How will that affect his service time? Why am I asking questions that nobody could possibly answer yet?

Buck Showalter: Fans don’t want to hear MLB players complain about salary cuts | NBC Sports Washington
As O’s fans well know, Buck isn’t afraid to voice his opinions, and right now he thinks players like Blake Snell aren't doing themselves any favors with their tone-deaf comments.

Cobb left waiting for rematch with Twins - School of Roch
Last year, the Twins scorched Alex Cobb twice before his season-ending injury. I hereby amend my PWAG projection above to note that Cobb pitched eight shutout innings against the Twins last night. Hey, why not?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You share your day with three ex-Orioles: 1985 infielder Fritzie Connally (62), mid-’80s outfielder Ken Gerhart (59), and 1998 three-gamer Chris Fussell (44).

On this day in 1959, Billy O’Dell became the first Orioles pitcher ever to hit an inside-the-park home run...and it traveled a grand total of 120 feet. It happened at Memorial Stadium, where O’Dell’s blooper behind first base deflected off the foul line in just the right way to bounce over the head of right fielder Al Smith. O’Dell’s two-run homer provided all the runs the Orioles would score that night, but it was still enough to squeak past the White Sox, 2-1, thanks to O’Dell’s seven strong innings on the mound.