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Friday Bird Droppings: The Orioles were shut out of All-Star starters again

The second-best team in the American League will have no players in the All-Star starting lineup, and haven’t had one voted in by the fans since 2018.

MLB: MAY 28 Rangers at Orioles
One of these two guys will be the AL’s starting catcher, and it’s not Adley.
Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Some year, perhaps, the Orioles will garner enough national acclaim that baseball fans will vote one of them onto the All-Star team. But this — even with the O’s holding the second-best record in the American League — apparently is not that year.

Last night, MLB announced the fan-elected starters for the 2023 AL and NL All-Star teams, and the Orioles, for the fifth consecutive year, did not have anyone voted in. Their top candidate, catcher Adley Rutschman, was defeated by the Rangers’ Jonah Heim in Phase Two of the voting, despite winning Phase One by hundreds of thousands of votes. Mark Brown has all the details.

To be fair, Heim is certainly a deserving winner. He’s posted a strong .279/.331/.801 slash line with 11 homers and 55 RBIs this season for the power-packed Rangers lineup. Look how far this guy has come. Heim was a light-hitting backstop in the Orioles’ organization before they dealt him as a High-A player in 2016 to reacquire Steve Pearce from the Rays. Heim was traded twice more after that before finally breaking out with Texas. Good on you, Jonah.

But with Adley falling short, the Orioles still haven’t had a player voted in by the fans since Manny Machado in 2018. (Cedric Mullins did start the All-Star Game just two years ago, but he was an injury replacement for Mike Trout rather than a fan-voted starter.) In several of those years, during the lowest points of the rebuild, the O’s had no deserving All-Stars. Now that the team has started getting good again, they’ve got more worthy candidates, but perhaps it’ll take the general baseball-watching public a little while to catch on to the Orioles’ success.

Oh well. Rutschman is likely to make the All-Star team anyway as a reserve, voted in by the players, and he likely won’t be the only Oriole on the squad. Félix Bautista, Austin Hays, Yennier Cano, and Tyler Wells are other possibilities to join him in Seattle. If multiple Orioles get the nod, it would mark the first time since 2016 that the O’s had more than one representative. That’s a start.


Heim tops Rutschman in AL catcher All-Star voting - School of Roch
While some of Rutschman’s stats might not match Heim’s, his teammates offer plenty of reasons why Adley should have gotten the nod as the All-Star starter.

From the ‘nastiest’ breaking balls to freezing fastballs, every Orioles pitcher details the best pitch of his career - Baltimore Sun
I’m with Kyle Gibson — if I had thrown more than 26,000 pitches in my career, I would have no idea how to pick the single best one. Fortunately, I have thrown zero, so that saves me the trouble.

After Jordan Westburg’s arrival, is Colton Cowser on deck? - Steve Melewski
Yes, please. Bring me all the prospects!

MLB Pipeline 2023 mock draft June 29 -
Jim Callis’s latest mock draft projects the Orioles to select Hurston Waldrep, which I find unlikely for two reasons. For one, Mike Elias doesn’t select pitchers in the first round. And secondly, “Hurston Waldrep” is clearly a made-up name from a dystopian sci-fi novel.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Until last year, nobody with a June 30 birthday had ever played for the Orioles, but that changed when Jesús Aguilar arrived in August. So that’s why the O’s signed him! It’s also the birthday of current Orioles offensive strategy coach Cody Asche. Both Aguilar and Asche turn 33 today.

A lot of cool things have happened on this day in Orioles history. In 1997, O’s ace Mike Mussina picked up the 100th win of his eventual Hall of Fame career, beating the Phillies at Camden Yards, 8-1, in the first-ever regular season matchup between the two teams. Mussina struck out nine in his historic victory, while Cal Ripken crushed a grand slam.

Speaking of the Phillies, on this day in 2012 the Orioles acquired Jim Thome from Philadelphia for two minor leaguers. The 41-year-old future Hall of Famer served as the DH and clubhouse leader for the upstart O’s club on their way to their first playoff appearance in 15 years, and Jim Jam was surely giving everyone a big ol’ bear hug along the way.

And today is the 14th anniversary of a game known affectionately on Camden Chat as Birdland Day, the Orioles’ epic, record-breaking comeback against the Red Sox. The Orioles, trailing the Red Sox 10-1 in the seventh inning, pulled off the greatest come-from-behind victory in franchise history. They tallied five runs in the seventh inning, including an Earl Weaver Special from bench guy Oscar Salazar, and then followed with five more in the bottom of the eighth — capped by a Nick Markakis go-ahead, two-run double off Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon — to pull off an incredible 11-10 win. What a night that was.