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Monday Bird Droppings: Trying to bounce back in Texas

The Orioles have put Boston in their rear view and we all hope for a different outcome in Texas.

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MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
New Oriole Adam Frazier went 5-for-8 in the opening series.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! The Orioles are probably happy to be out of Boston, where opening weekend didn’t exactly go to plan. But they won’t face an easy task in Texas, where the Rangers just swept the defending NL champion Phillies. Hopefully, Kyle Bradish and Tyler Wells will fare better than their rotation mates have so far.

Look, I know it’s easy to be down in the dumps about this team. The pitching staff has underperformed our expectations and the defense has been shaky (to be charitable). Even the win they got on opening day was rife with drama and uncertainty. After a long offseason looking forward to the return of Orioles baseball, this weekend was a rude awakening indeed.

I spent plenty of time over the weekend snarking on the team, playing the role of Debbie Downer, and just generally being salty and unpleasant about baseball. I didn’t want to be. The Orioles didn’t give me any choice.

But those are my emotions, not my logic. There were things to be disappointed about this offseason, but many of us still went into the season with optimism, myself included. It may well pan out that the Orioles just don’t have what it takes to compete this year. But if they will or if they won’t can’t be determined by this weekend’s series loss to the Red Sox.

It was a shock to the system to watch the Orioles give up 27 runs in three games while bumbling defensively. It was disappointing that the starters couldn’t go deeper into games and that the bullpen is looking thin this early in the season. But we’ve got a long way to go and it will only take a few decent games in a row for us all to be singing a different tune.


With early steals record, Orioles taking advantage of baseball’s bigger bases – Baltimore Sun
The stolen bases on Thursday and Saturday sure were fun, I'll give them that. If Jorge Mateo can continue to get on base, there seems to be no limit of the damage he can do.

Connolly: Orioles’ pitching, defense has to be better than it showed in Boston - The Athletic
Yes, Dan. Good call.

Starters unable to provide length as Orioles drop opening series to Red Sox - Blog
Look, none of these links are going to be uplifting. I'm sorry to report that there was a lot of crappy Orioles stuff going on this weekend.

Orioles’ pitchers off to a rough start as Red Sox claim 9-5 victory in series finale - The Baltimore Banner
Just score 10 runs every game. Problem solved!

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have just one Orioles birthday buddy: Koji Uehara. Uehara turns 48 years old today. After a successful 10-year career with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan, he made his major league debut with the Orioles in 2009 at the age of 34.

In 2009, Uehara put up pedestrian numbers as a starter while also dealing with injuries. Starting in 2010 he became a full-time, dominant relief pitcher. In 2011 he pitched to a 1.72 ERA in 43 games with the Orioles and was then traded to the Texas Rangers for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter. Pretty good trade!

In 2013, he had the best season of his major league career and won the World Series with the Boston Red Sox. He and Steve Pearce are the only Red Sox I have ever been happy to see win a World Series.

Incredibly, Koji Uehara pitched in the majors until he was 42 years old. His final season was 2017 with the Chicago Cubs. Happy birthday, Koji!

On this day in 1960, the Orioles traded Billy Gardner to the Washington Senators for Clint Courtney and Ron Samford. This means very little in Orioles’ history.

In 1997, Jimmy Key made his Orioles’ debut as their Opening Day pitcher. The Orioles defeated the Royals and Key ran his OD record to 7-0.

In 2011, Zack Britton made his major league debut with the Orioles, pitching six innings with just one run allowed. The Orioles won and swept the Rays in the first series of the year. Britton wasn’t even expected to make the team out of spring training, but a late spring injury to Brian Matusz opened the door.

As we all know, Britton’s future wasn’t as a starter, but it didn’t look like it on that day. Everyone was buzzing about his performance. After coming back from injury late last season, the 34-year-old Britton did not look like his old self. He was not signed for the 2023 season. I wonder if maybe the Orioles should give him a shot. I’m joking, of course. Or am I?