Good morning, Camden Chatters.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.”
Had baseball been around in Franklin’s day, he might’ve added “the Orioles losing to the Yankees” to that list.
The Orioles lost their 18th consecutive game to the Yankees last night, and this one was particularly gut-wrenching. After the Yanks jumped on John Means for five runs in the first, the O’s held them scoreless for seven consecutive innings, allowing them to claw their way back from a 5-0 hole with a trio of two-run homers by Hanser Alberto, Rio Ruiz, and Pedro Severino, who swatted a go-ahead shot in the eighth.
Yet, in the end, the result was the same as it always is: with the Orioles in the L column. Aaron Judge’s three-run homer in the ninth off Cole Sulser put the kibosh on any thoughts of a rare O’s victory. Alex Church’s recap has all the details of a wild but ultimately fruitless Birds contest.
The Orioles haven’t beaten the Yankees in 16 months. They haven’t beaten them at Camden Yards in more than two years. It doesn’t matter if there are 40,000 people in the stands or zero; if there are 25 players on the roster or 30. Destiny simply cannot be avoided. This isn’t competition, it’s grotesque theater. Orioles vs. Yankees is like Windshield vs. Bug.
I understand that the two teams are at very different stages of contention right now — if, for the Orioles, “not applicable” can be considered a stage — and the talent disparity between the two is, um, stark. But 18 losses in a row? The O’s couldn’t have snuck a single, random victory in there sometime since last March?
Perhaps sometime this season the Birds’ luck will change and they’ll find a way to topple the mighty Yanks, if only for a night. But the early returns aren’t promising.
Notes: Orioles remain without Davis - Orioles.com
The mystery surrounding Chris Davis deepens, as he was away from the team for the second straight day but the club hasn’t put him on the COVID-19 injured list or specified why he’s out of action. Everyone seems to have a theory about what’s going on with him, so here’s mine: abducted by aliens. Yeah, I said it.
Anthony Santander can relate to COVID-19 situation in MLB - Steve Melewski
Santander, who tested positive for COVID-19 at summer camp, talks about the importance of safety protocols, like wearing a mask. If I could offer a bit of advice to Anthony, it’s that the mask is supposed to go over your nose.
‘We Love You, Mo’ | Tributes From Orioles, Ravens Coaches & Players Pour In For Baltimore Sports Superfan Mo Gaba – CBS Baltimore
Good luck having dry eyes after reading this.
Orioles’ José Iglesias taking on outsized role on and off the field in first week of season - Baltimore Sun
It hasn’t taken Jose Iglesias long to make a heck of a first impression in Baltimore, but now he’s dealing with a sore quadriceps. Get well soon, Jose. You’re the No. 3 hitter we never knew we needed.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have two living O’s birthday buddies: 1999 catcher Mike Figga (50) and 1977-78 lefty Earl Stephenson (73). And a posthumous happy birthday to 1962-63 O’s manager Billy Hitchcock (b. 1916, d. 2006), left-hander Rip Coleman (b. 1931, d. 2004), and Joe Durham (b. 1931, d. 2016), the first African American position player in Orioles history. I was lucky enough to have a few conversations about the 1950s Birds with Durham, who was a regular presence in the Camden Yards press box in the years before his passing.
In a normal season, today would be a big day in baseball, but there’s no July 31 trade deadline in this truncated season (it’s been pushed back to Aug. 31, but even then it’s doubtful many teams will be making trades this year). So the Orioles’ streak of making a July 31 trade for seven straight years is unlikely to continue. (Last year’s “trade” was just sending Dan Straily to the Phillies for cash considerations, but it still counts.)
Two years ago on this date, the Birds leaned full-in into the rebuild with surprising trades of Kevin Gausman (and Darren O’Day) and Jonathan Schoop. In prior years, the O’s were buyers on deadline day, acquiring Tim Beckham in 2017, Wade Miley in 2016, and Gerardo Parra in 2015 — three deals with poor to disastrous results — though they had a bit more success in 2014 and 2013 by acquiring Andrew Miller and Bud Norris, respectively.
On this day in 2000, Syd Thrift’s horribly executed fire sale sent Will Clark and fan favorite B.J. Surhoff out of town for a bunch of magic beans. And the O’s acquired pitcher Juan Guzman on this date in 1998 and then traded him away exactly one year later for B.J. Ryan.