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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are back in Baltimore

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Yesterday was the day the Orioles reported to Baltimore, although there won’t be any camp activity until tomorrow.

MLB Opening Day Postponed Due To Coronavirus Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 22 days remaining until the scheduled beginning of the 2020 Orioles season. No one can say for certain that baseball’s backstop plan to play will end up coming to fruition, but at least for now they’re finally starting on the road back. Players reported to their camp locations yesterday and are expected to have organized activities beginning tomorrow.

The league will probably be holding its breath that there will not be very many positive COVID-19 tests among the first wave of tests that go out in this summer part of the preseason. If there are too many, this plan will never get anywhere. This is less cheerful than thinking about baseball coming back.

Unlike a lot of teams, the Orioles did not make an initial camp roster anywhere close to the maximum number allowed. Teams can have up to 60 players in the player pool right now. Many are putting up their prospects in second locations. The O’s are expected to do this eventually but have not done so yet, so they only have 44 players out of the allowed 60.

Considering it’s the future of the prospects that’s most interesting for O’s fans right now, that’s yet another damper on getting excited for anything to do with this season. It’s up to those players to make things better for the franchise eventually and they are no part of the run-up to the abbreviated season. If you want a dose of Adley Rutschman, you’ll have to wait and see if he puts out any more TikToks.

Until real baseball returns, the simulated version showing up daily on Baseball Reference’s Out of the Park Baseball league remains as a source of possible mild interest. The Orioles beat the Yankees yesterday, 6-3, with the O’s offense responding to reliever Eduardo Paredes (one of the sim’s trash heap pickups) blowing the game in the top of the seventh inning by storming right back into the lead in the bottom of the inning.

Rio Ruiz hit his 16th home run of the sim season as part of this go-ahead rally. The O’s capitalized on three Yankees errors in the game and were able to win despite getting only seven hits. These O’s are 36-51, a poor record by any stretch but still better than six other teams in the sim.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles top 4 stories for the 2020 season (Orioles.com)
I applaud this list for just stopping at four stories rather than going for a standard multiple of five. The fact that the short-term answer for who is going to replace Trey Mancini is “DJ Stewart and Dwight Smith Jr.” is maybe not so exciting.

Hess goes from optioned to an Orioles option for Opening Day (School of Roch)
One guy who appears to have gotten a second chance to get a look for the roster because of the COVID delay is David Hess.

Kjerstad’s decision to sign with the Orioles was an obvious one (Baltimore Baseball)
Interesting tidbit here: The Orioles scout who was watching Kjerstad used to coach Kjerstad’s older brother.

“Where the hell is Britton?” Inside the beat: 2016 Orioles (The Athletic)
Brittany Ghiroli’s retrospective series has hit on a question that everyone was wondering at the time that will haunt Orioles fans until the team is good again.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2013, the Orioles traded Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Cubs for soon-to-be-free agent pitcher Scott Feldman and Baltimore native catcher Steve Clevenger. Arrieta’s swift turnaround in Chicago remains one of the more convincing things pointing to O’s pitching development at that time being totally busted.

There are two former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2018-19 Rule 5 guy Pedro Araujo, and 1963 six-game pitcher Pete Burnside. Today is Burnside’s 90th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: English Reformation figure Thomas Cranmer (1489), Baltimore-born Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (1908), civil rights activist Medgar Evers (1925), hamburger magnate Dave Thomas (1932), stock car legend Richard Petty (1937), comedian Larry David (1947), wrestler Bret Hart (1957), soccer star Alex Morgan (1989), and actress Margot Robbie (1990).

On this day in history...

In 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the resolution to become independent from Great Britain, though the famous Declaration was not proclaimed until two days later, which has become the celebrated day.

In 1934, the Nazi regime in Germany carried out a series of attacks known as the Night of the Long Knives.

In 1937, Amelia Earhart was last heard from while crossing the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to make the first ever equatorial flight around the world.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964,

In 1976, South Vietnam officially ceased to exist upon annexation by North Vietnam, which proclaimed a unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 2. Have a safe Thursday.