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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles schedule is out

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We now know when and where the O’s will play their 60 games this season, though recent events make it increasingly unlikely they’ll play any at all.

Baltimore Orioles Summer Workouts Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Yesterday, the 2020 baseball season took another step closer to becoming reality, as MLB unveiled the revised 60-game schedule for all 30 teams. The season will kick off July 23 with four teams in action — the Yankees, Nationals, Giants, and Dodgers — and the other 26, including the Orioles, will follow suit on Friday the 24th. The Birds will begin their campaign at Fenway Park, part of a season-opening five-game road trip, before making their 2020 Camden Yards debut July 29 against the Marlins.

As has been known for a while, the Orioles’ entire schedule this year will come against AL East and NL East teams, which makes for a brutal slog since only two of those (the Marlins and Blue Jays) had a losing record last year. Mark Brown summed up the notable highlights of the Orioles’ abbreviated 2020 slate.

Now the question becomes: how many, if any, of those 60 games will the Orioles and their MLB counterparts actually get to play? Based on coronavirus-related calamities sweeping the league so far, it’s fair to wonder whether teams will even get out of summer camp without the season again being put on hold, or scrapped entirely.

Yesterday, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and Athletics GM David Forst put MLB on blast after their teams were forced to cancel their workouts because they had not received results from their COVID-19 tests. The Astros, too, canceled a workout because their results had not been returned, while the Angels and at least two other teams couldn’t complete their scheduled tests over the weekend because the testers never showed up.

Sheesh, MLB, get your act together. We’ve literally just started this delicate dance of an attempted 2020 season, and already there are severe problems with the testing that are causing delays and cancellations. How does the league expect to play any meaningful games if players and staff could be going into them not knowing whether they tested positive for the virus? This season is going to be hard enough to pull off even if MLB handles everything perfectly. And so far, it hasn’t, which puts the whole shebang at risk.

Players have taken notice. Stars like Mike Trout and Kris Bryant have spoken up about their concerns over their safety, while a handful of household names have already opted out of playing in 2020. Former Cy Young winners David Price and Felix Hernandez did just that over the weekend, and yesterday, ex-Oriole Nick Markakis joined the list of opter-outers after his Braves teammate Freddie Freeman tested positive for COVID-19.

Just a few days into summer camp, it appears things are already going haywire. Perhaps MLB will be able to stabilize its testing processes and restore order long enough for the 60-game season to go on as planned. But it’s hard to feel particularly optimistic that’ll be the case.

Links

Orioles hold their fourth workout as other teams cancel - School of Roch
The Orioles, knock on wood, have been one of the luckier teams at summer camp so far, with no delays in their COVID-19 testing, no positive tests (at least none that have been revealed), and no players opting out as yet. At this point, that’s the best you can hope for.

Looking at the Orioles’ 2020 schedule: Quirks, oddities and serious hurdles – The Athletic
Dan Connolly offers his thoughts on the Orioles’ new schedule, including the fact that it’s really, really difficult. You guys, I don’t think the O’s are going to make the playoffs this year.

Let’s all Choose the Best Baltimore Orioles Logo Ever – SportsLogos.Net News
Which Orioles logo is the best and why is it the cartoon bird?

Miguel Castro on first few days of camp and more - Steve Melewski
Miguel Castro says he was scared about being in the Dominican Republic because people weren’t wearing masks or social distancing. I have some bad news for him about the United States, then.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your lone O’s birthday buddy is Baltimore-born infielder Tim Nordbrook, who was drafted by his hometown team out of Loyola College in 1970 and played 74 games with the Birds. He turns 71 today.

On this day 25 years ago, the Orioles acquired veteran righty Scott Erickson, who would become an integral member of the late-’90s rotation and earn the No. 50 spot on Camden Chat’s ongoing countdown of the Greatest Orioles of All Time.

In 1970, the Orioles walked off the Yankees on Brooks Robinson’s 10th-inning grand slam, a game our Tyler Young retro recapped earlier this year.

In 1996, the Orioles’ Roberto Alomar was named All-Star Game MVP after going 3-for-4 with a homer, RBI, and stolen base in a high-scoring, 13-8 American League win at Coors Field.

In 2014, the Birds scored six runs in the top of the 11th — thanks to homers by Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, and Manny Machado — to beat the Nationals in the opener of the interleague rivalry series, 8-2.

And on this date in 1961 and 1984, the Orioles played freakishly similar doubleheaders, 23 years apart:

  • Both doubleheaders were at Memorial Stadium against Kansas City (the Kansas City A’s in 1961, the Kansas City Royals in 1984).
  • Both times, the Orioles won Game 1 by a 6-2 score, with a slugging first baseman hitting a grand slam (Jim Gentile in 1961, Eddie Murray in 1984), and their starting pitcher throwing a complete game (Chuck Estrada in 1961, Scott McGregor in 1984).
  • Both times, the Orioles threw a shutout to win Game 2 (Hal Brown in 1961, Mike Flanagan in 1984).
  • Both times, the Orioles finished the night with exactly 46 wins for the season.

Spooooky!