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Weekend Bird Droppings: Where Dwight Smith Jr. lost in the opening round of the playoffs

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The O’s are get knocked out of the playoffs, Castro his helping his hometown and how the postponed season impacts the Birds.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

The expectations for Dwight Smith Jr. entering the MLB The Show Players League were understandably low. As the Orioles representative, he would be required to take control of the lowest rated roster in the game. Regardless of how talented Smith might be on the sticks, thriving in a 29-game round robin was a tall task.

But Smith put on a show anyway, compiling a 19-10 overall record, the fifth-best mark in the entire competition, and being a blast to watch. He deferred to the viewers at times when making pinch hit decisions. He shouted “Welcome to the Boom Boom room!” anytime he hit a home run with Trey Mancini. And he may have found Hunter Harvey’s new nickname.

Unfortunately, Smith’s run came to an end on Friday night in the opening round of the playoffs. In a best-of-three series against Jeff McNeil and the New York Mets, Smith was swept in two games.

Real baseball remains on hold, but this Players League was a lot of fun to watch. For once, MLB did a nice job of promoting its sport and the personalities of the players.

Links

Castro helping back home during baseball’s shutdown - School of Roch
Miguel Castro was robbed at gunpoint in the Dominican Republic this offseason, but that isn’t stopping him from returning to his home and helping locals in that area.

When last we saw baseball, the O’s were building a better bullpen - Steve Melewski
I’m a pretty firm believer in the talent that the Orioles have in their current bullpen. Hunter Harvey looks unhittable at times. If Tanner Scott could harness his pitches a little bit he has the stuff of an elite reliever. There is a lot to like in that ‘pen, and many of the most interesting components are still quite young.

Bob Davidson recalls umpiring the Orioles-White Sox game with no fans at Camden Yards - Newsday
News outlets are fixated on that game from 2015. It’s understandable, but at the same time I doubt MLB wants that type of product on TV every night. A more likely outcome could be something like what the CPBL is doing, piping in sound, making the crowd look full on TV and attempting to simulate a regular game. As everyone as mentioned, the Orioles/White Sox game with no crowd was “weird.” MLB isn’t going to want every game to feel that way.

10 MLB Teams Whose Business Initiatives Face Coronavirus Hurdles - MLB Trade Rumors
The Orioles and their TV fight with the Nationals get a mention here. It does appear that the O’s are kicking the inevitable can down the road, and they will eventually have to pay up. However, that is far from a coronavirus-only issue.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Jonathan Villar is 29 today. The Orioles acquired the speedy middle infielder from the Milwaukee Brewers at the 2018 trade deadline. He would spend the following 1.5 seasons as one of the team’s most steady presences, slashing .270/.338/.438 with 61 stolen bases. Villar was traded to the Miami Marlins this past offseason in exchange for minor league pitcher Easton Lucas.

It is the 49th birthday for outfielder Brent Bowers, who made just 39 plate appearances as a major leaguer. All of them came with the 1996 Orioles. Bowers would bounce around the minor leagues until 2000.

Finally, happy 66th birthday to Keith Moreland. The utilityman played in the Bigs for 12 years, finishing up his career with 33 games as a member of the 1989 Orioles.

2010 - The Orioles complete their first three-game home sweep of the Boston Red Sox since 1974. Ty Wigginton sends the O’s home victorious with a walk-off double against BoSox closer Jonathan Papelbon.