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Saturday Bird Droppings: The Orioles opened the season with a whooping

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It wasn’t the finest showing for an Orioles team in the midst of an extensive rebuild effort.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Are you happy now? You got exactly what you thought you wanted. You got a real game of Orioles baseball for the first time in the better part of a year. And it went as bad as you could have expected.

The O’s opened up the 2020 campaign with a 13-2 loss to the host Red Sox. Mark had the unfortunate duty of recapping the horror for the site. But in short this game was an unmitigated disaster.

Tommy Milone was good during his first trip through the Red Sox order, but then fell apart. Cody Carroll couldn’t throw a strike. And both Travis Lakins and David Hess got knocked around quite a bit as well. There wasn’t much to like on the offensive side apart from Rio Ruiz’s home run and the trio of doubles from Jose Iglesias, Anthony Santander and Renato Nunez.

Perhaps Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said it best:

Yes, these Orioles are going to be bad, but they aren’t 11 runs worse than the Red Sox, or anyone for that matter. They are still a major league team made up of (mostly) major league quality players. They will win games, and may even have a couple laughers that go in their favor.

For now, I will continue to bask in the light of baseball being back in my life. And I am already looking forward to tuning into the rematch today at 1:35 and leaving it on while I do chores around the house. Baseball is typically my summer soundtrack, and it will be comforting, regardless of the score.

Links

Orioles Sign 5th-Rounder Carter Baumler - MLB Trade Rumors
This was a bit of good news that emerged during last night’s game. Baumler’s signing now means the Orioles have got all six of their 2020 draft picks under contract. Where Baumler goes from here is unclear. With the minor league season cancelled he may have to stick to an at-home workout routine under the social distanced guidance of O’s staff.

Mancini: ‘It’s tough’ missing Opening Day - Orioles.com
Trey Mancini conducted an interview with Orioles media via Zoom yesterday. He reported that he is more than halfway done his chemotherapy treatments, he has started watching Premier League soccer and he wants everyone to wear a mask. All in all, a pretty great update from the O’s best player!

Orioles kneel before national anthem, stand with arms locked during song on Opening Day as show of unity - Baltimore Sun
Reading the quotes in this article makes it seem like the Orioles have created a positive clubhouse culture in which players, coaches and staff have discussed social justice and racial inequality. While the extent of those talks are publicly unknown, the fact that they are happening at all feels like progress.

A different kind of opening day - School of Roch
While this may be controversial to say, I think I am coming down on the side of pro-cardboard cutouts at these fan-less games. The cutouts at least make the stadiums feel a bit more alive, and some of them are pretty funny. Fenway just seemed spooky with absolutely nothing in the stands.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday this weekend? Happy birthday!

Happy 56th birthday to José Bautista (not that one), who was an Orioles pitcher from 1988 through 1991. During his time in Baltimore he had a 4.79 ERA, 81 ERA+ and 124 strikeouts over 281.2 innings.

Doug Drabek turns 58. The 1990 NL Cy Young winner with Pittsburgh wrapped up his big league career by spending the 1998 campaign with the O’s. He struggled to a 6-11 record while compiling a 7.29 ERA and 62 ERA+ over 108.2 innings.

It would have been the 73rd birthday of the late Mickey Scott (b. 1947, d. 2011). The southpaw was an Oriole between 1972 and ‘73, but appeared in just 16 total games.

And it is also a posthumous celebration for Whitey Lockman (b. 1926, d. 2009). The utility player appeared in 38 games for the 1959 Birds, hitting .217/.299/.261 in the process.

This day in history

1967 - Riots in Detroit require MLB to cancel games between the Tigers and the visiting Orioles. The remainder of the series is moved to Baltimore.

1999 - Albert Belle leads the Orioles to an 8-7 win over the Angels by hitting three home runs and driving in seven runs.

2019 - O’s utility player Stevie Wilkerson becomes the first position player to earn a save in MLB history. He comes on in the 16th inning to finish off a 10-8 with for the Orioles over the host Angels. Wilkerson’s offerings from the bump top out at 56 mph.