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Friday Bird Droppings: An unprecedented Orioles season begins tonight

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It might not have the same feel as a typical Opening Day, but the regular season is officially on. Buckle up!

MLB: JUL 20 Nationals at Orioles Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

We’ve finally made it. It’s go time, folks.

Tonight, at long last, the Orioles begin the 2020 regular season, nearly four months after it was originally supposed to happen.

It’s felt more like four years.

Ah, to be young and carefree again, like we all were at the beginning of March. Since then, the world has been turned upside down, and — less importantly, obviously — so has the baseball world. The sport was shut down, then months of interminable, fruitless haggling between the league and the players made it seem like it might never come back. Then it seemed a deal was near. Then it wasn’t. Then the league set its own schedule, even as the obstacles to baseball’s return seemed almost insurmountable. And now, improbably, here we are, with the start of the season upon us, even as questions still remain as to whether any of this is a good idea.

Ready or not, the Orioles are back.

So, how are you feeling, Camden Chatters? Excited? Dubious? Somewhere in between? Chime in in the comments about your predictions and hopes for the 2020 Orioles.

We’ll see you tonight at 7:30 for the Orioles’ opener in Boston. Now let’s enjoy a hearty rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Take me out to the ballgame
Take me out with the cro—

Wait a minute. Those lyrics don’t exactly work in a coronavirus world. All right, here’s a revised version:

Let’s stay in for the ballgame
Let’s just watch from the couch
They’re going to play in an empty place
Socially distanced and masks on their face

And we’ll root, root, root for the Orioles
If they don’t win, it’s okay
‘Cause rules one, two, three this whole year
Are to stay health-ay

Play ball!

Links

MLB, players’ union agree to playoff expansion for 2020 - ESPN.com
In case you missed it, the playoff field this year has officially been expanded from 10 teams to 16. Sure, fine, this season is already bizarre enough; let’s go crazy. And the Orioles’ postseason odds just increased by, I don’t know, one-hundredth of a percent? I’m telling you there’s a chance!

Opening Day FAQ: Orioles vs. Red Sox - Orioles.com
Joe Trezza and Red Sox writer Ian Browne preview the season opener, which includes a pitching matchup between two guys who combined for just 18 starts and a 5.22 ERA last year. Have I mentioned this season is weird?

Juan Soto’s positive test raises more questions than answers, about everything – The Athletic
One of the game’s young superstars tested positive for COVID-19, right after playing two exhibition games against the Orioles. Y’know, just in case you’re wondering how this whole thing could fall apart.

At Bowie, players will look to stay sharp and ready - Steve Melewski
Melewski interviews some coaches and players about what the Orioles’ alternate camp is like. I feel like I’d be bored out of my mind doing nothing but having workouts and playing meaningless intrasquad games for two months straight, but then, I don’t exactly have the same mindset as a professional athlete.

Orioles willing to share Camden Yards with Blue Jays, but obstacles remain – The Athletic
All right, you guys can use our ballpark, but in return you have to give us Vlad Guerrero Jr. Final offer.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your two Orioles birthday buddies are 2012 six-gamer Miguel Socolovich (34) and the late Duane Pillette (b. 1922, d. 2011), who was the first-ever winning pitcher in Orioles history, beating the Tigers with a complete game on April 14, 1954.

On this day in 2016, the Orioles completed a sweep of Cleveland on Nolan Reimold’s walkoff homer against closer Cody Allen, keeping them 1.5 games ahead in the AL East.

And on this date two years ago, the Orioles continued their fire sale by trading closer Zach(k) Britton to the Yankees for three minor league pitchers. All three are still in the organization, with Cody Carroll cracking the Opening Day roster this year after missing all of last season, while Dillon Tate and Josh Rogers are sidelined with injuries.