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Monday Bird Droppings: The four All-Stars edition

The weekend ended on a high note, the draft is coming, and more in today’s Bird Droppings.

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! I hope you had a lovely weekend. Things didn’t start so grandly for the Orioles, who lost two games to the Twins and looked headed for their first time being swept in the Adley Rutschman Era. But things turned around with a late-innings comeback. You can read Paul’s account of the dramatic game, and vote for Most Birdland Player, in his recap.

Then, after the game, we learned that the Orioles are sending four players to the All-Star Game next week! That’s right, I used an exclamation mark! Félix Bautista, Yennier Cano, Austin Hays, and Adley Rutschman have all been named to the AL team’s roster. I personally figured that Rutschman and Bautista were locks and was excited to see two Orioles in the game. To get double that is incredibly exciting.

I know that the All-Star Game isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some fans just don’t care either way, others would rather their team’s players just get a break in the middle of the summer. I am not any of those fans. I like watching the game and I find it very gratifying that the team I root for is being recognized for its success. I also like the Home Run Derby, which isn’t related but it is true.

Of course, everything isn’t completely rosy in Birdland right now. Even with their feel-good win yesterday, they still are a team whose offense has scored just two or fewer runs in four of their last five games. Over the past two weeks they have, as a team, an OPS+ of 86. That’s not good.

There are also lingering injury concerns coming out of yesterday’s game. Newly minted All-Star outfielder, Austin Hays, had to leave the game with a hip contusion after colliding with the Twins’ first baseman. Per Brandon Hyde, Hays is day-to-day and should only miss a couple of days.

Also, rookie Jordan Westburg got the game-winning RBI yesterday after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. But not just any pitch, a 101-mph fastball from Jhoan Duran. One that hit him right on the back of the hand. After the game Westburg said he’s ok but it wouldn’t surprise me if that changes. I am hoping for the best but my first thought when it happened was, that would break my bones. He is going to get more imaging on his hand to make sure everything is ok.

And with all that, the Orioles play on! They start a four-game series tonight with the team just below them in the standings, the New York Yankees. The Yankees, after losing to the Cardinals yesterday, are four games back of the Orioles. I don’t think the Orioles will get swept, but I’ll also admit that seeing the Orioles just four games ahead and about to play a four-game series makes me a bit nervous.


Yankees took on $30 million for outcast outfielder to dominate with the Orioles - Sports Media
Aaron Hicks has come back down to earth after the scorching start to his Orioles career, but I still enjoy stories like this.

Orioles rally for two runs in eighth inning and avoid sweep - MASN Sports
Roch Kubatko's game story with quotes from Brandon Hyde.

MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis talks Orioles draft -
Rich Dubroff chatted with Jim Callis about the upcoming draft, and I'll be honest. It was hard enough for me to care when they were picking in the top five. Now they're picking at 17? I'll let someone else worry about that because In Elias I Trust.

Trade season has started. Do the Orioles need bullpen help? - The Baltimore Banner
I think they need another good relief pitcher, but for some reason the front office never comes calling for my opinion. I saw a suggestion on Twitter to reunite the Orioles with Hunter Harvey, who is currently pitching pretty well for the last place Nationals. I don't hate that.

Orioles players Adley Rutschman, Félix Bautista, Yennier Cano, Austin Hays named American League All-Stars
Jacob Calvin Meyer has a really nice long-ish story on the four Orioles All-Stars. Your adorable Adley quote for the day is “To be able to catch them on a daily basis is a true pleasure and super fun.”

Cal Ripken Jr. opens up on breaking Lou Gehrig's streak, the 2023 Orioles, more | FOX Sports
If you're looking for lots of Cal Ripken quotes about his time playing baseball, this is your spot. Also he likes the current team and will be in his seats for more games this year. Cal Ripken, he's just like us!

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have three Orioles’ birthday buddies. Tommy Hunter, a member of the 2011-2106 Orioles, turns 37 years old today. Today is the 68th birthday of Jeff Rineer, whose entire major league career is made up of one scoreless inning in 1979. And Al Pilarcik, born on this day in 1930, played outfield for the Orioles from 1957-60. He passed away in 2010 at the age of 80.

Baseball Reference’s page for This Day in History shows nothing good for the Orioles, so here are a few fun things that happening around MLB on this date:

  • In 1966, pitcher Tony Cloninger hit two grand slams for the Braves in a 17-3 win over the Giants. This is a fun oddity but not the argument to bring back pitchers hitting that some people might think.
  • In 1973, brothers Gaylord Perry and Jim Perry pitched against each other for the only time in their careers. That must have been very stressful for their mom.
  • In 1988, Jose Canseco hit three home runs in a game between the Athletics and Blue Jays, but the game wasn’t decided until his fellow bash brother, Mark McGwire, hit the go-head home run in the 16th inning.