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Friday Bird Droppings: Where MLB negotiations are contentious again

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Just when we thought MLB and the players’ union had found common ground, their discord bubbled back up yesterday.

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2017 Major League Baseball World Series Game Two: Houston Astros v. Los Angeles Dodgers
Pictured: Rob Manfred, Tony Clark, and a guy who probably wishes he wasn’t in the middle of them.

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Welp, MLB has gone and screwed everything up again.

Just two days ago, we finally had a beacon of hope, a ray of light, an apparent cause for optimism that the owners and players could put aside their differences at last and reach an agreement for a 2020 season. Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA president Tony Clark met face to face Wednesday and emerged with the supposed framework for a 60-game season at full prorated pay.

Miraculously, we had a plan...aaaaaand it’s gone. Yesterday, the players’ union sent an updated proposal to MLB for a 70-game season, a move that, apparently, greatly offended the owners. According to various reporters, owners were “livid” about the counterproposal, so deeply upset that they won’t immediately respond. Really? So the owners were perfectly fine with a 60-game season but are incensed by a meager 10 extra games? And now their plan is to continue to stall until it’s mathematically impossible to play 70 games? I’ve mentioned it before, but these guys are the worst.

Like a bad rash, the friction between the two parties just keeps coming back. The owners apparently thought that Wednesday’s 60-game proposal was the final agreement, and in response, Clark released a statement yesterday basically saying, “uh, no, we never agreed to that. Try 70.” And now any progress that might have been made at that face-to-face meeting may have evaporated.

I’m so, so tired of all this. Someone wake me when there’s actually going to be baseball...if it happens at all.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe...

In a universe where COVID-19 doesn’t exist, the Orioles completed a four-game sweep in Cleveland yesterday and are now 59-16. They’ve achieved a level of greatness that transcends baseball. They’ve solved climate change. They’ve brokered world peace. They’ve fixed every possible problem in their universe, and — as pioneers in scientific development — they’ve invented a portal that allows them to travel to alternate universes to fix their problems, too.

Yesterday, the Orioles arrived in our COVID-19-plagued universe and quickly eradicated the virus. But when told of the disaster currently going on in the MLB/MLBPA negotations, the Orioles chuckled. “Good luck with that,” they said, hopping back home through the portal. “Some problems are beyond even our help.”

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


Orioles selling #F16HT T-shirts as latest gesture of support for Mancini - School of Roch
Whatever you may think of the Orioles’ on-field performance, the organization is about as classy as it gets. Their latest charitable gesture is selling Trey Mancini-inspired T-shirts to raise money for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, an idea dreamed up by Caroline Means, wife of John. Order yours today.

You have to laugh to keep from crying: Inside the Beat, 2014 Orioles – The Athletic
Britt Ghiroli’s year-by-year recap of her beat writing career takes us to 2014, which brought both triumph (the best O’s team of the last two decades) and heartbreak (the death of PR director Monica Barlow).

Ben McDonald talks about the Orioles' draft and a possible blueprint -
Ben McDonald was hyping up Heston Kjerstad as a sleeper pick even before the draft, so it’s no surprise he’s happy with the Orioles’ selection, calling him “the best left-handed bat in college baseball.” I like the sound of that.

Orioles, stadium authority negotiating new Oriole Park lease | Ballpark Digest
The Orioles are considering making some upgrades to Camden Yards, including adding public Wi-Fi. Yes, yes, a hundred times yes. It’s weird that I can’t load Twitter while I’m in the stands. When the Orioles are losing, like, 10-1, sometimes you need something else to entertain you.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Six former Orioles have birthdays today, led by 1955-57 lefty Don Ferrarese, who turns 91 years young. A very happy birthday to him indeed. The others include 1988-89 outfielder Butch Davis (62); hard-throwing 2001-03 righty Willis Roberts (45); a pair of teammates on the 2004 Orioles, journeyman lefty Bruce Chen (43) and nine-game outfielder Val Majewski (39); and 2017 right-hander Logan Verrett (30).

On this day in 1960, the Orioles threw shutouts in both ends of a doubleheader in Detroit, winning the opener 2-0 and the nightcap 1-0. Hoyt Wilhelm and Milt Pappas each went the distance for the Birds, combining to allow only five hits (though they issued 11 walks between them). The Tigers had no extra-base hits in either game and stranded 18 runners on base.

Ten years later on this date, the Orioles again swept a twin bill, this time against the Senators, with a 12-10 slugfest win in game one and a 13th-inning walkoff in game two. Our Andrea SK wrote about the doubleheader as part of Camden Chat’s retro recap series earlier this year.

And on this day in 1998, Rafael Palmeiro crushed a walkoff, three-run homer in the 15th inning against the Blue Jays, leading the Birds to a 7-4 victory. Before Palmeiro’s blast, nine innings had passed without either team scoring. That’s one of those games that’s really boring until suddenly it isn’t.