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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Welcome to Miami, we hope

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The last time the Orioles flew to Miami, their entire series got canceled because of a COVID outbreak. Let’s hope for better luck this time.

Tampa Bay Rays v. Miami Marlins Photo by Mary Holt/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

After an off day yesterday, the Orioles resume their weird, five-game, Texas-to-Florida road trip with a brief stop in Miami starting tonight. And this time around, fingers crossed, they’ll actually get to play a couple of games.

That wasn’t the case last season, when the Orioles were scheduled to play a three-game set in late July against the Marlins — and had actually flown to Miami already — before the Marlins were afflicted with a teamwide COVID-19 outbreak that felled nearly half their roster, forcing them to postpone a week’s worth of games. The Birds flew back home without ever having left their Miami hotel, and the two teams ended up playing a week later in Baltimore (in which a patchwork, hastily rebuilt Marlins club ended up sweeping the Orioles in four games). The good news, at least, is that was the only COVID-related schedule interruption during the Birds’ 60-game slate, and no Orioles were infected. Things could have been much worse.

This year, COVID remains a lingering threat to baseball — just ask the Minnesota Twins, whose last three games were postponed after a slew of positive tests over the weekend — but it appears the O’s and Marlins are set to finally face off in Miami...where the Orioles are just 2-13 all time. Hmm, maybe we shouldn’t be so happy this series is happening after all.

Links

Glenn Clark: In Defense Of Orioles Play-By-Play Voice Scott Garceau - PressBoxOnline.com
Radio host Glenn Clark goes to bat for the much-maligned MASN broadcaster, and he certainly has a point that it’s difficult to call a game when you’re not physically at the ballpark. Still, that’s the least of many viewers’ complaints about Garceau.

An encouraging weekend for O’s, especially on the mound - Steve Melewski
Melewski is heartened by the Orioles’ pitching success in Texas over the weekend. If I wanted to be a party pooper, I’d point out that the Rangers have a terrible offense, tied for the worst OPS in the majors. But I don’t want to be a party pooper, so I won’t point that out.

Revisiting decision to option Kremer and logic behind it - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko explains the reasoning behind sending down Dean Kremer, which boils down to letting him get more work in while the Orioles don't need a fifth starter until next Tuesday. And speaking of Roch...

Congratulations to Roch on a truly incredible streak. I don’t know how he does it. I struggle enough to come up with Bird Droppings topics twice a week, especially during the offseason for a team that traditionally makes almost no news. You’ve got to have a lot of dedication — and a lot of creativity — to write about the Orioles every day for more than 12 years straight.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! No Oriole has ever been born on this day, but you know who was? Early 1900s St. Louis Browns outfielder Charlie Hemphill. Yes, a guy named Hemp-hill was born on 4/20. Alas, Nellie Pott and Bert Weeden were not.

On this date in 1984, the defending champion Orioles, who were off to a shockingly poor 2-10 start, got a much-needed win on Eddie Murray’s walkoff, two-run homer in the 10th inning against the Twins. That victory jump-started the Birds, who went a respectable 83-67 the rest of the way, though they still finished 19 games out of first place.

On this day in 1988, the Orioles set a dubious MLB record by losing their 14th straight game to begin the season, an 8-6 defeat in Milwaukee. Starter Mike Boddicker was pounded for seven runs, including a homer by Hall of Famer Robin Yount. Alas, the O’s were only two-thirds of the way through their unprecedented losing streak at that point.

And on this date in 2013, the Orioles swept a doubleheader from the Dodgers in the first meeting between the two clubs in nearly a decade. J.J. Hardy, Nolan Reimold, Chris Davis, and Manny Machado all homered during the twin bill at Camden Yards. Those Dodgers weren’t quite the superteam they are today, but they did go on to win the NL West for the first of eight straight years (and counting), so...good job with the sweep, Orioles.