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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles can’t get out of their own way

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The O’s blundered and stumbled their way to their 16th straight road loss, extending the franchise record. It’s ugly, folks.

Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Indians
Pictured: An Oriole not catching a baseball.
Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

I have a very important question for you all.

What even is ... (gestures at the Orioles) ... this?

I mean, is this parody? Some sort of cosmic joke? Are we being punk’d?

I thought we were going to get to watch some baseball this year. What is it that we’re actually watching? Whatever the Orioles are trying to do is nearly unidentifiable as professional competition.

Like, think about if you were writing a movie script about the world’s lousiest baseball team. Wouldn’t it look almost exactly like what we’re witnessing in Birdland right now? Ineffective pitching. Painful defense. Non-existent hitting in the clutch, or hitting in general.

Last night the Orioles blundered their way into their 16th straight road loss, extending the franchise record that they set on Saturday and extended again on Sunday. Two grotesque O’s defensive plays told you everything you needed to know about how the night went, from DJ Stewart tripping and falling while backpedaling on a fly ball that landed in front of him, to second baseman Stevie Wilkerson ranging into the right-field corner, calling off the actual right fielder, and dropping a foul ball, giving the batter new life to hit an RBI double. Tyler Young has the full details of these and other O’s misadventures in his recap of the latest loss.

I ask again: what is this? And how do we make it stop? And assuming we can’t, how do we stomach this for another three and a half months?

Links

Kremer makes impressive return in Orioles’ 4-3 loss - School of Roch
One bit of good news from last night’s debacle was the somewhat successful performance of freshly recalled starter Dean Kremer, who deserved better than what his defense gave him.

Mullins, O’s seek big push in All-Star voting - Orioles.com
Cedric Mullins’ all-around dominance isn’t enough to put him even among the top nine All-Star outfield vote-getters. It’s almost as if playing for the AL’s worst team doesn’t get you national attention.

Orioles reset: Impact on O’s uncertain as debate over pitchers using sticky stuff roils on - Baltimore Sun
Oh man, imagine O’s pitchers have been using sticky substances this whole time and they’ve still been pitching like this?

Minor Monday: Rizer shows versatility at Bowie; Updates on Leyba, Sedlock and Hernaiz - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Todd Karpovich interviews hot-hitting minor league outfielder Johnny Rizer, who has been quickly moving up the O’s system. They don’t call him “Rizer” for nothing!

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! For the second day in a row, nobody born on this date has ever played for the Orioles. What’s up with that?

June 15 used to be MLB’s trade deadline until 1985, so the O’s have done plenty of wheeling and dealing on this date in history. The most significant trade was a 10-player deal with the Yankees in 1976 in which the Birds landed three future members of the Orioles Hall of Fame: Rick Dempsey, Scott McGregor, and Tippy Martinez. The former two each ranked in the top 26 of Camden Chat’s greatest Orioles of all time. Per Baseball Reference, the five players the O’s acquired in that deal combined for a 50.3 WAR for them, while the five players the Yankees acquired combined for just 1.2 for them. Talk about a heist!

The Orioles have played poorly on June 15 in recent years, going 4-14 in the last 20 years on this date. Their last win came in 2015, when Wei-Yin Chen threw eight scoreless innings in a 4-0 shutout of Philadelphia. (Two players in the Phillies’ lineup that day were Maikel Franco and Freddy Galvis.) Chen was randomly optioned to Single-A Frederick the next day, much to his displeasure, as the O’s tried to get too clever with their roster maneuvering.

The O’s have had a few other notable wins on this day. In 1983, the O’s trailed the Brewers 7-0 in the seventh inning, then exploded for 11 unanswered runs — five in the seventh, two in the eighth, and four in the 10th — to pull off a stunning victory in Milwaukee. Cal Ripken drove in five runs, including a three-run homer, and John Shelby delivered the go-ahead RBI single as part of a three-hit day.

And on this day in 1997, the Orioles, in the first interleague series in club history — and a matchup between the two best teams in baseball — completed a three-game sweep of the Braves with an extra-inning win in Atlanta. Catcher Lenny Webster bashed a two-out, two-run homer in the 10th to provide the margin of victory, 5-3. The win improved the Orioles to a league-best 45-19.