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Monday Bird Droppings: Settling in after the draft

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Nobody knows when the Orioles, or any of their minor leaguers, will play another game. They’re starting to add undrafted free agents.

MLB: AUG 27 Orioles at Nationals Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

In the parallel universe where everything is the same as in this one except that the 2020 baseball season was somehow able to go on unimpeded, the Orioles would have played in 71 games by now. We would be wondering who the team’s lone All-Star would be and who might get traded next month. Instead, well, you know.

When there will end up being a season still remains unclear. The owners keep barraging the players with near-identical proposals and call it negotiating. According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, if there isn’t a deal reached, the MLB-imposed season length would be 50-60 games with full prorated pay for the players. That would be a weird baseball season.

On days where I’m feeling bleak, I wonder how much optimism is required to even believe the season will be able to begin from a public health standpoint. Trend lines aren’t looking good in a number of states, including Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and Texas. In March, Florida and Arizona were the hail mary backup plan states. In another couple of weeks, the idea of baseball being played in these places, even with no fans in attendance may seem completely nuts.

We might have to keep settling for simulated versions of the 2020 season. We’re not the only ones, since reporting on the O’s draft process suggested that they, too, spent time simulating college results and that helped them with decisions.

The Orioles of the Baseball Reference Out of the Park Baseball simulation dropped a 3-1 game to the Rays yesterday. The O’s struck out 11 times in Blake Snell’s 6.1 innings and only got six hits in the game. Three of them were hit by DJ Stewart, including his 12th homer of the sim. He is now batting .383/.437/.765 in 31 games. That would be fun to see in real life. These Orioles are no longer in last place in the AL East, currently a half-game ahead of the Blue Jays, and they have a better record than seven teams.

In the meantime, baseball’s shortened 2020 draft is over and done with and teams can now turn, as of yesterday morning, to signing players who were not drafted in the draft’s five rounds to bonuses of up to $20,000. For some, that may seem like a pretty good deal. For players whose belief in their talent is that they will have the potential for a bigger draft payday later, it’s not going to be worth much.

Around the blogO’sphere

How ‘dark horse’ Heston Kjerstad climbed the Orioles draft board to be their choice at No. 2 overall (Baltimore Sun)
There was an informed plan. Time will tell whether it turns out to be a plan that works.

Updates on Orioles signing drafted and undrafted players (School of Roch)
The people who lined up to accuse the Orioles of being cheap in drafting Kjerstad with the #2 pick are probably not going to confront that they were wrong after Coby Mayo and Carter Baumler have tentative agreements for about a combined $2.3 million over their slot values.

O’s draft pick Servideo has franchise family ties (Orioles.com)
Third round pick Anthony Servideo is the grandson, on his mother’s side, of 1965 AL Rookie of the Year winner Curt Blefary. Pretty cool. Good luck to Anthony.

O’s use draft to fortify shortstop position on farm (Steve Melewski)
The Orioles drafted two shortstops in this shortened draft and they had drafted three in the first five rounds last year. If a lot of them keep climbing the prospect ladder, that would be a good problem to have.

Oriole Bird officially inducted into National Mascot Hall of Fame in virtual ceremony (Baltimore Sun)
The Bird’s greatness in the pantheon of mascots has at last been officially recognized, though the fact that it took until 2020 doesn’t say much about the National Mascot Hall of Fame.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1997, the Orioles completed the first ever weekend of interleague play by sweeping the Atlanta Braves in an extra innings win. Lenny Webster hit a two-run 10th inning homer in the 5-3 victory. Randy Myers had a save in all three games.

Of all the players to ever play for the Orioles, not a single one was born on this day.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! You may not have any Orioles birthday buddies, but you do share the day with these people: England’s Edward the Black Prince (1330), Mona Lisa subject Lisa del Giocondo (1479), composer Edvard Grieg (1843), musician Waylon Jennings (1937), actress Helen Hunt (1963), actress Courteney Cox (1964), and actor Neil Patrick Harris (1973).

On this day in history...

In 763 BC, the Assyrians recorded a solar eclipse. This has proved significant for later historians in assembling the chronology of Mesopotamia.

In 1215 AD, England’s King John affixed his seal to the Magna Carta (though if you go over there they don’t say “the” first). Within two months, John had the pope of the time, Innocent III, proclaim the document invalid, a detail that I seem to recall being left out of the high school history class where I learned about it.

In 1752, Benjamin Franklin carried out his kite experiment and discovered that lightning is electricity. Or at least, this is the date that everyone has settled on, though the 100% exact date is lost to history.

In 1864, U.S. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton established Arlington National Cemetery, using 200 acres of land that had been seized from the estate of a Confederate traitor, Robert E. Lee.

In 1977, Spain held its first post-Franco democratic elections.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 15. Have a safe Monday.