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Thursday Bird Droppings: The John Means no-hitter hangover edition

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You’ve probably already heard yesterday’s good Orioles news. We’ll be basking in it all through today’s day off.

Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners
That’s John Means there in the center of the big party.
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Every time I sit down to watch an Orioles game, I tell myself that maybe today is the day that I will see the Orioles throw a no-hitter. It has to happen eventually, I would say, since the last combined no-hitter was in 1991 and the last solo no-hitter was in 1969. I don’t know when I started doing this. It’s been a long time.

Most games, this hope is quashed fairly early on. The Orioles haven’t exactly been flush with good pitchers in recent years, the kind who could threaten a no-hitter any time out. It’s been much more often to see the O’s no-hit through five or six innings than to see the O’s do this to the opposition. I thought maybe I would never actually see one. And then, yesterday, telling myself that same thing, I sat down to watch a John Means start and he threw a dang no-hitter. It was everything I could have ever hoped it would be.

What’s even more incredible about the feat is that Means stands completely alone. MASN’s Melanie Newman closed out the post-game show by noting that Means is the only pitcher to ever throw a non-perfect no-hitter in which he allowed no walks, did not hit a batter, and his team committed no errors. The only thing between Means and a perfect game was a runner reaching on a dropped third strike early in the game.

Means himself wasn’t too upset about this in his post-game interview with media, and neither was manager Brandon Hyde. So even though there’s never been a perfect game in Orioles history, I’m not going to get too upset about it either. Maybe some day there will be an Orioles perfect game and we can all fondly remember the time that Means almost had one.

Now that I’ve seen the no-hitter, what I really want to see is the Orioles winning the dang World Series. It has to happen eventually, doesn’t it? Some year I will sit down in the spring and tell myself maybe this will be the year, and then it will be the year. 2021 is probably not the year, but hey, maybe if Means sticks around and a lot of other things go right, the O’s time will be coming soon.

Enjoy the moment the no-hitter went final all over again:

The Orioles will also allow no hits today, but that’s because they’re not playing today. It’s an off day as the team heads back from Seattle. The next series starts on Friday, when they take on the division-leading Red Sox in Baltimore. I won’t be sad to have another day to bask in John Means throwing a no-hitter for the Orioles. Mike Elias is not allowed to trade him now. It’s in the rules somewhere.

Around the blogO’sphere

Former Orioles manager and pitching coach Ray Miller dies at 76 (Baltimore Baseball)
Some sad news from yesterday amidst all of the excitement. Miller’s heyday with the Orioles was mostly before my time, but there’s no denying he had a role in some of the great days of the franchise.

No chance to no-no: Means’ unlikely journey (Orioles.com)
One of my favorite random John Means things is he had created a LinkedIn account after the 2018 season in case baseball didn’t work out. And now, he is what he is now.

No perfect game? John Means isn’t bothered by that dropped third strike (The Baltimore Sun)
He really doesn’t mind! So I’m not going to let it get to me either.

Orioles spot starter still a secret (School of Roch)
The Orioles have briefly optioned Baltimore’s own Bruce Zimmermann to the minors, meaning they will need a spot starter on Saturday. Who’s it going to be? It’s still a mystery! So that’s fun.

Early mock draft has Orioles taking Georgia high school shortstop Brady House (MLB Pipeline)
If this two months out mock draft proves accurate, then the Orioles strategy from 2020 was Lousy for House-y. This mock is interesting in that neither Jack Leiter nor Kumar Rocker, the Vandy Boys, are picked at #1, though both are gone from the board before the O’s go at #5.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2012, the Orioles played one of the franchise’s legendary games that can be simply summed up as the Chris Davis Pitching Game. Davis was the winning pitcher in a 17-inning game, with Adam Jones delivering a three-run home run to give the O’s the edge.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2015 outfielder Gerardo Parra, 2000-01 utility man Mike Kinkade, 1994 reliever Tom Bolton, and 1958-59 reserve Leo Burke. Burke, born in Hagerstown, turns 87 years old today, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: The Phantom of the Opera writer Gaston Leroux (1868), movie maker Orson Welles (1915), baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays (1931), musician Bob Seger (1945), actor George Clooney (1961), hockey Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur (1972), and rapper Meek Mill (1987).

On this day in history...

In 1527, the War of the League of Cognac led to mutinous troops of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who had been unpaid, deciding to enter and sack the city of Rome. Some historians recognize this sack as the end of the Renaissance.

In 1877, Oglala Lakota chief Crazy Horse surrendered to United States troops.

In 1937, the zeppelin Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed while trying to dock in New Jersey. 35 of the 97 people on board the zeppelin were killed in the accident, as was one person on the ground.

In 1954, British athlete Roger Bannister became the first person to run a mile in under four minutes.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 6. Have a safe Thursday.