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Wednesday Bird Droppings: It’s only two bad games

Phillips back in Baltimore, an Ohtani proposal, and Means is ramping things up.

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Baltimore Orioles Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

I would have preferred the Orioles play better in these first two games against the Dodgers. Monday night’s game was frustrating because it felt like one they should have won. Last night was simply a disaster that you wash your hands of and try to forget. But I can’t say that I have really learned anything about the team that has me any more or less worried about their playoff aspirations.

Let’s remember that the O’s had just won eight games in a row and—thanks to the Rays’ recent stumbles—they are still only one game back of the division lead, with a road trip to Tampa on the immediate horizon. It’s all there for the taking.

It’s normal to get a little antsy this time of year. The trade deadline feels like the last significant opportunity to improve your team ahead of the stretch run. We assume the Orioles will make some positive moves, but it’s not entirely clear how serious they will be. Every additional win they can rack up before August 1 should push the front office further and further towards a seismic decision.

But if you surfed through Twitter at all last night (never a good decision!) there was some real Chicken Little stuff happening. Every error was an indication of this team’s inexperience. Every wayward pitch was proof that this staff was not ready for big moments. Man, it has got to be exhausting to watch a single baseball game and feel those sorts of big emotions moment to moment.

Of course you want to play well all the time, but that’s unrealistic in baseball. Fortunately, they play 162 games, making every individual game less crucial than in some other sports. It’s OK to have a stinker every now and then. This team has more than made up for it to this point, and they’ve bought some room for grace.


Reliever Evan Phillips ‘wasn’t quite ready’ for the Orioles’ land of opportunity. He’s seized it with the Dodgers. | The Baltimore Sun
It would have been neat to see the Maryland native Phillips succeed with the Orioles, but it just didn’t happen. At least he is crushing it for the Dodgers, and seems likely to pitch some big innings in the postseason for them.

Rosenthal: If Shohei Ohtani is available, Orioles should go for it; plus Yankees’ deadline direction and more | The Athletic
I agree, Ken! If ever there was a time where adding a superstar like Ohtani is even somewhat possible, this is it. The Orioles and Angels have a nice relationship given several other fairly recent deals. Rosenthal lays out a few potential packages, and they all seem pretty palatable to me: Basically, two top 100 types plus a fringier throw in. No Jackson Holliday. I kind of love the idea!

O’s ‘in great hands’ with passionate fan as skipper for the day |
I know this stuff is essentially PR for teams, but I still think it’s really cool when they make dreams come true for kids that have been given some real tough battles in life.

Means threw changeups in latest bullpen session and aims for early September return | Roch Kubatko
We’ve waited this long, I think we can make it another six or seven weeks. Who knows what Means can provide once he does return, but he should clearly be better than a handful of guys currently occupying a big league roster spot.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • David Segui turns 57 today. He had two stints with the Orioles, first from 1990 through 1993, and then again from 2001 through 2004.
  • Dan Graham celebrates his 69th. He spent most of his time as a catcher for the O’s in the 1980 and ‘81 seasons.
  • Billy Gardner is 96 years old today. From 1956 through ‘59 he played all over the infield for the O’s.

This day in O’s history

1994 - A game between the Orioles and Mariners is postponed due to safety issues at Seattle’s Kingdome. Prior to game time, four big wood-fiber tiles fell out of the ceiling and into the stands. Even more are found to need replacing after further inspection.