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Friday Bird Droppings: Where All-Star voting has begun

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The All-Star ballots are out, so go vote for your favorite Orioles! A couple of them might actually deserve it.

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays
Pictured: A couple of worthy All-Stars.
Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Yesterday the Orioles enjoyed their first scheduled off day in more than two weeks, following a stretch of 16 games in 16 days in four different cities, during which the O’s lost the first 14 in a row but ended on a high note with two wins. Tonight they’ll look to sustain their momentum, such as it is, as they open a three-game set against Cleveland at Camden Yards.

In the meantime, MLB released its 2021 All-Star ballots yesterday, and fans can start casting their votes online for the starting position players on the AL and NL clubs. Most Orioles don’t, and shouldn’t, have a prayer of getting voted in (including poor second baseman Pat Valaika, who is included on the ballot only because every team is required to have a candidate at each position).

But for such a lousy team, the Orioles do have some legitimate, All-Star-worthy studs. Start with the outfield, where Cedric Mullins’ breakout season could well earn him a spot on the team. He probably doesn’t have the national name recognition to get voted in, but he’s a prime candidate to at least get selected as a reserve. Not only is Mullins playing Gold Glove caliber defense, but his .838 OPS is the fourth-best of any non-injured outfielder on the ballot.

And what a wonderful story it would be if Trey Mancini could make the squad, too. Not only does he have the numbers to merit a spot — an .874 OPS, 11 homers, and 44 RBIs, tied for third in the majors — but it’s made more amazing by the fact that he’s playing and excelling just a year after having a cancerous tumor removed and undergoing chemotherapy. He’s already sealed the Comeback Player of the Year award, but an All-Star selection would be that much better. Still, he faces tough competition from a group of AL first basemen who are putting up huge numbers, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Matt Olson, and reigning MVP Jose Abreu.

Is there room for both Mullins and Mancini on the All-Star team, especially if John Means (currently leading all AL pitchers in WAR at 3.2) is also selected? Last-place teams generally don’t get a lot of All-Star consideration. The Orioles haven’t had more than one All-Star representative — let alone three — since 2016, their last winning season.

What say you, Camden Chatters? Which Oriole, or Orioles, do you think will be donning the AL All-Star uniforms in Denver on July 13?

Poll

Which Oriole(s) will be selected for the 2021 All-Star team?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Trey Mancini only
    (22 votes)
  • 14%
    John Means only
    (53 votes)
  • 0%
    Cedric Mullins only
    (3 votes)
  • 43%
    Mancini and Means
    (162 votes)
  • 2%
    Mancini and Mullins
    (8 votes)
  • 7%
    Means and Mullins
    (26 votes)
  • 25%
    Mancini, Means, and Mullins
    (93 votes)
  • 0%
    Someone else, somehow
    (2 votes)
369 votes total Vote Now

Links

The Orioles’ Ryan Mountcastle and DJ Stewart are turning their seasons around. Can it stick? - Baltimore Sun
One of the biggest bummers of the 2021 season so far has been the unimpressive performance by some homegrown youngsters, particularly Mountcastle. Let’s hope their recent hot streaks are a sign of things to come.

Getting To Know Freddy Galvis | Baltimore Orioles
Freddy Galvis has proved to be a canny signing for Mike Elias, outplaying the guy he replaced, Jose Iglesias, this year. Here you can dive a little deeper into his back story.

Konner Wade grateful for second chance in Orioles system - School of Roch
We hear a lot about the Orioles' prospects, for good reason. But what about the other guys on minor league rosters, the veteran, journeyman types? Roch Kubatko interviews one such player, Norfolk's 29-year-old righty Konner Wade.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And let’s wish a very happy 93rd birthday to former O’s player and third base coach — and former manager at Towson State — Billy Hunter. Hunter is the only player still living from the inaugural 1954 Orioles team. As of just a few years ago, he was still making appearances at FanFest and other Orioles events, and you can bet he’s got some stories to tell.

Other ex-Orioles celebrating birthdays today are relievers Cla Meredith (38) and J.C. Romero (45), infielder Ricky Jones (63), and catcher Terry Kennedy (65).

On this date in 1967, the Orioles played the longest game (by innings) in franchise history, a 19-inning marathon against the Senators at Memorial Stadium that lasted five hours and 18 minutes. After starter Steve Barber was chased in the third inning, the O’s bullpen did spectacular work, with Wally Bunker, Eddie Watt, Eddie Fisher, and Stu Miller combining to throw 16.2 scoreless innings, racking up 19 strikeouts. Andy Etchebarren finally walked it off for the Birds with a two-run homer in the bottom of the 19th.

In 1988, the O’s played another wild extra-inning game at Memorial in which they twice fell behind in extras only to pull off an improbable win. The visiting Yankees, after tying the game in the ninth, took a 10th-inning lead on a Jack Clark homer, but the Birds’ Rene Gonzales tied it with an RBI double in the bottom half. Four innings later, the Yankees built a 6-4 lead, only to literally throw away the game in the home half on a bases-loaded throwing error by third baseman Mike Pagliarulo that scored all three runners for a walkoff.

In 2019, Pedro Severino bashed three home runs as the Orioles won in Texas, 12-11, nearly blowing a seven-run lead in the ninth before hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

And on this day in 2010, the Orioles fired manager Dave Trembley after starting the season 15-39, replacing him with interim skipper Juan Samuel (and, later that year, permanent manager Buck Showalter). Trembley had a 187-283 record in parts of four seasons at the Orioles’ helm, but I always had a soft spot for him after he reached out and invited me for a pre-game conversation in the dugout shortly after his hiring in 2007. That’s an hour or so of my life that I’ll always remember fondly, but in hindsight, any advice I gave him turned out to be spectacularly unhelpful.