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Thursday Bird Droppings: One more day until the Orioles second half starts

A few teams are back in action today. The Orioles aren’t one of them, so we’ll be waiting another day.

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Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals wins the All-Star Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Are you ready for the Orioles to get rolling again? Well, too bad, because they don’t play again until tomorrow. The All-Star break does end for a few teams today due to lockout-related rescheduling. The Orioles Friday opponent, the Yankees, has to play a doubleheader in Houston against the Astros to open up their second half. It’s probably too much to hope that this will tire them out for the coming series against the O’s, but it’s at least a tiny advantage for the O’s.

For there not having been any games since Sunday, it’s been a busy week! If you’ve been checked out since the draft, check out my articles about #1 overall pick Jackson Holliday, about the three remaining day 1 picks, and about the all-college day 2 selections made by the Orioles. The team has until August 1 to sign players from this draft class.

Another thing on the horizon in the next week and a half or so is that this year’s trade deadline is 6pm on August 2. The coming seven game homestand against the Yankees and Rays is going to be really crucial for figuring out whether the O’s might end up veering towards being sellers, and how strongly they might want to sell. An improbable fun 4-3 stretch might have them avoid this entirely. Coming out of the break losing seven in a row, well, that would be much less fun.

If the Orioles hang tough, it’s hard to say who might be traded. Trey Mancini, Anthony Santander, and Jorge López seem like the candidates at this moment. With the Orioles succeeding, they might find that they want to have a strong closer for the next couple of seasons, even if they falter heading towards the deadline. Some of it depends on how much other teams might actually want the O’s players! They can see everything O’s fans can see, and more.

Around the blogO’sphere

Along for the ride as Cuban baseball prospect César Prieto defects to the US (Sports Illustrated)
The phrase “Cuban defector” comes up sometimes without a lot attached to what goes into that. Last year, an SI writer was along for the ride as the recently-signed O’s prospect Prieto jumped ship from the Cuban team in Miami. This one is wild. There’s an accompanying three-part documentary for the truly interested.

Keith Law dissects every AL team’s draft classes (The Athletic)
On Jackson Holliday: “legitimate top-of-the-draft prospect, showing great feel to hit with a pretty swing, emerging power and the potential to stay at shortstop.” Sounds pretty good! He adds on the three college picks who followed on day 1 that this wasn’t the Orioles playing it safe, because all three of Dylan Beavers, Max Wagner, and Jud Fabian have big power upside that also comes with hit tool downside.

10 draft picks who will be quick to the big leagues (
On this list are two high school hitting prospects, including Holliday. Jim Callis writes that Holliday “could race to the big leagues,” as he’s “in the mold of Bobby Witt Jr., and more advanced than Witt was at the same stage.” Witt went from the 2019 draft to a 2022 Opening Day roster. I’d be plenty happy seeing Holliday with the Orioles no later than the start of the 2025 season.

3 takeaways from the Orioles 2022 draft (The Baltimore Sun)
Other than taking Holliday at #1, the Orioles took guys fitting into some familiar archetypes. One key aspect to the draft: This could be the last time they pick high for hopefully quite some time.

A look at a few things that went right for the Orioles in the first half (Steve Melewski)
Two keys that haven’t been hard to notice: The bullpen has been better, and the Orioles have been doing a whole lot better against other AL East teams.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1996, the Orioles traded Kent Mercker to the then-Indians, bringing Eddie Murray back to Baltimore. The 40-year-old Murray was nine home runs short of joining the 500 club. He hit 10 more in 64 games in his return to the O’s.

There are a several former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2012-15 pitcher Wei-Yin Chen, 2011 reliever Willie Eyre, 1997-2002 shortstop Mike Bordick, 1987-94 pitcher Mark Williamson, and 1966-68/70 reliever Moe Drabowsky.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: novelist Ernest Hemingway (1899), actor Don Knotts (1924), and soccer champion Brandi Chastain (1968).

On this day in history...

In 356 BC, an arsonist set fire to the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus in present-day Turkey, destroying one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In response, a law was passed forbidding the mention, orally or in writing, of the arsonist’s name.

In 1865 AD, in what’s believed to be the first Western showdown as it endures in the public imagination to this day, Springfield, Missouri was host to a quick-draw pistol duel in which Wild Bill Hickox shot and killed Davis Tutt in a dispute over money Hickox owed to Tutt.

In 1925, biology teacher John Scopes was found guilty by a Tennessee court of teaching evolution to high school students. He was fined $100.

In 1959, Pumpsie Green made his debut for the Boston Red Sox. He was the first Black player in team history, officially making the Red Sox the last MLB team to integrate.

In 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took man’s first steps on the surface of the Moon.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 21. Have a safe Thursday.