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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are 90-game losers

Losing 90 games before the end of August is no easy feat to pull off, but it’s become a yearly ritual for the Orioles.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

We’re number one! We’re number one!

Number one at losing, that is. With yet another dreary defeat last night — a 7-3 loss in Toronto that Tyler Young recapped — the Birds have now lost 90 games this season. No other major league team can make that claim.

That’s 90 — count ‘em, ninety — losses, and the Orioles haven’t even started their final month of play. That’s hard to least you would think so, except this is the third straight season (leaving out the abbreviated 2020 campaign) in which the Orioles notched their 90th loss by the end of August. This is only the second time in club history, though, that the O’s had 40 or fewer wins at the time of their 90th loss. (The woeful 2018 club was 37-90 at one point.)

The Orioles’ 40-90 record has them on pace for a 50-112 mark at season’s end, which frankly feels optimistic. It’s hard to see 10 more wins in their future considering the AL East-stacked schedule that awaits them in September.

So continues the Orioles’ long, interminable slog through the remainder of the 2021 slate. We can only hope they’ll have more than 40 wins when they inevitably reach the 100-loss mark in the coming weeks.


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Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Seven former Orioles were born on this day, most prominently the late Hall of Famer and O’s legend Frank Robinson, the man whose Triple Crown debut season in Baltimore spurred the Birds to their first World Series championship in 1966. Frank would have turned 86 today.

Also celebrating birthdays today are Baltimore-born right-hander Steve Johnson (34), son-of-a-Hall-of-Famer Tim Raines Jr. (42), and righty relievers Armando Gabino (38), Ramon Ramirez (40), Mike Hartley (60), and Tom Dukes (79).

Until two years ago, August 31 was the waiver trade deadline, so the Birds have made a number of deals on this date in history.

In 1987, the Orioles traded away homegrown pitching star Mike Flanagan, who’d spent the first 13 seasons of his career in Baltimore and won the 1979 Cy Young award, to the Blue Jays. It was an emotional departure for Flanagan, but he returned to finish his career with the Orioles in 1991-92 and later served as general manager before his tragic death in 2011.

In 1988, the league-worst Orioles swapped veteran outfielder Fred Lynn to the Tigers for minor leaguer Chris Hoiles, who went on to become the best offensive catcher in O’s history and a member of the Orioles Hall of Fame. Pretty good trade, that one.

And in 2011, the O’s pawned off disastrous free-agent signing Mike Gonzalez (who, after being signed as a closer, managed only two saves in his Orioles career) to the Rangers for useful reliever Pedro Strop, who became a key setup man in an excellent 2012 O’s bullpen.