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Weekend Bird Droppings: MASN will broadcast two Orioles exhibition games

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As Opening Day nears it has been announced that we will get fake Orioles baseball before we get real Orioles baseball. That is good news for people who like baseball!

Baltimore Orioles Summer Workouts Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Folks, our prayers have been heard, and the people in charge of both the Orioles and their broadcast network have answered! We will now be granted the blessing of seeing not one, but two pre-season games on MASN, both against the regional rival Nationals.

Each game will begin at 6 p.m. Scott Garceau and Mike Bordick will call the game at Camden Yards, and unfortunately Bob Carpenter and F.P Santangelo will handle the broadcast in D.C.

Earlier this week, The Washington Post had reported that MASN would not be broadcasting any Orioles or Nationals pre-season games. The sources they quote in the article cited safety concerns and a lack of revenue as reasons why they would only begin broadcasting at the start of the regular season. The about-face would seem to be a response to public displeasure with that decision.

The 60-game regular season starts on Friday, so we didn’t have much longer to wait for baseball. But it will be nice to get a two-game appetizer to ease us back into things. It was odd that MASN wasn’t broadcasting any footage from Camden Yards while many other clubs, like the Yankees, have been airing just about every inning of their intra-squad games, and the Nationals were even streaming some of their games via social media.

Links

Valdez impressive in intrasquad - School of Roch
Cesar Valdez is a 35-year-old who last pitched in Major League Baseball in 2017. Prior to that he had only appeared in the 2010 season. The righty spent the last couple of years in the Mexican League, but the O’s now have him lined up for a multi-inning relief role.

As Orioles’ Dwight Smith Jr. returns to workouts, club showing signs of health protocols paying off - Baltimore Sun
The only way that MLB is going to be able to pull off this season is by creating a culture where the players, staff and anyone else involved with the 30 teams takes the coronavirus testing and related precautions extremely serious. So far, that seems to be happening for the Orioles.

2020 Positional Power Rankings: Right Field - FanGraphs
The folks at FanGraphs have now provided power rankings for every hitting position. The Orioles highest ranked spot is centerfield, where Austin Hays will be handling the lion’s share of the innings. Just in case we weren’t sure, this is gonna be a tough two-month stretch.

Projecting Orioles’ Opening Day roster - Orioles.com
Teams will be able to keep 30 players on their Opening Day roster this year. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde has said they intend to keep 15 or 16 pitchers, and we know that there are some obvious locks. But a handful of injuries have thrown some uncertainty into the picture, especially in the outfield competition where both Anthony Santander and Dwight Smith Jr. just getting into summer camp this past week.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday this weekend? Happy birthday!

  • Left-handed pitcher Rudy May turns 76. He pitched for the O’s in two seasons, 1976-77, accumulating a 3.68 ERA over 404 total innings in the process.
  • First baseman/outfielder David Segui is 54 this weekend. He had two stints with the O’s, first from 1990 through 1993 and then again from 2001 through 2004. Altogether he hit .273/.349/.387 and posted 0.0 bWAR across 580 games as an Oriole.
  • Dan Graham, an Orioles catcher from 1980-81, celebrates his 66th birthday. He posted 1.1 bWAR in 141 games with the Birds.
  • Infielder Billy Gardner is turning 93 years old. His years with the Orioles were the best of his career, spending 1956-59 with the club. His top season was in 1957, when he finished 12th in the AL MVP voting with a .262/.325/.356 batting line while playing solid defense at second base.

This day in history

1994 - Four 15-pound wood-fiber tiles fall from the ceiling of the Seattle Kingdome just two hours prior to first pitch between the Orioles and Mariners. No one is injured as the tiles fell into empty seats, but the game is postponed and full inspection at the stadium takes place.

2001 - Although the Orioles and Rangers were set to play two games at Camden Yards, a train derailment in Baltimore postpones the nightcap.

2002 - Orioles shortstop Melvin Mora ties a MLB record by being hit by three pitches in a single game, but the O’s lost 5-4 to the Blue Jays.

2015 - Chris Tillman and Zach Britton combine to one-hit the Detroit Tigers in a 3-0 win. The only hit allowed came from Ian Kinsler, who led off the game with a single.