If you had asked me back on Friday morning, what are the chances that the Orioles will sweep the entirety of the four game series against the Athletics? I am sure that I would have told you 0%. Some of that is the particular brand of Mark Brown pessimism with which many of you are familiar, yes. But a lot of it is that it's hard to sweep a four game series against any team, even a bad team. As it turns out, Oakland was just the right level of bad at just the right time. Thanks for that, guys.
All of the weekend's activity (plus Monday's) leaves the Orioles a half game up on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Orange County, California, United States of America for the second wild card spot in the American League. Whichever team prevails in that chase - Texas also lurks a game back, with the Rays and Twins still in the periphery at 2.5 games back - will currently go for one game, winner takes all, in Rogers Centre.
There is a lot of baseball left to play. Don't get too excited yet. Jacob deGrom and the rest of the Mets await tonight.
Around the blogO'sphere
Ryan Flaherty's 0-for-34 streak approaches Orioles position-player record - Baltimore Sun
Last April, I wrote an article for Camden Chat about where Ryan Flaherty stacks up against the worst hitters in Orioles history. I got hate mail from someone in Flaherty's home town. That really happened.
5-year-old girl throws out Orioles' first pitch with 3D-printed prosthetic hand - SBNation.com
If you did not see from yesterday about the girl who threw out the first pitch at the Orioles game, you should really give this a read. Be warned it may get a little dusty wherever you are at this moment.
Upgrades planned for Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Business Journal)
They still seem to be in the idea phase for some of this stuff, but there are some interesting things going on here. Really the one thing missing from OPACY is an open concourse, and it's being mooted, but how could they pull that off?
Orioles' J.J. Hardy A Stabilizing Force At Shortstop (Press Box)
And it's a good thing too, because the only thing he stabilizes at the plate is the opposing pitcher's ERA.
School of Roch: Showalter on Flaherty, Wieters, Bridwell, Bundy and more (O's win 4-2)
This blog article by Roch Kubatko contains a number of quotes from Buck Showalter about dinged up Orioles major and minor leaguers, and, for some reason known only to MASN, multiple updates from Monday's game.
MLB Announces 2015 Postseason Schedule - Bleed Cubbie Blue
I am a firm believer in not counting one's chickens before the eggs hatch (not that I've ever had any chickens or hatching eggs to count), but if you are interested in the preliminary postseason schedule - just in terms of what games would be on what day - the Cubs blog has you covered.
Birthdays and anniversaries
On this day in 1997, the Orioles acquired Harold Baines from the White Sox for Juan Bautista, a shortstop who never made it to the majors. I guess the O's won that trade.
There are two former Orioles with birthdays today. One is Josh Rupe, one of a number of 2011 Orioles pitchers to pitch like poop but the only one whose name rhymes with poop. The other is the late Bob Kennedy, father of another former Oriole, Terry Kennedy. The elder Kennedy was here all the way back in 1954 and 1955.
If today is your birthday, happy birthday! Some of those whose time on Earth has passed who share this birthday include composer Antonio Salieri, whom F. Murray Abraham won a Best Actor Oscar for portraying in 1984's Amadeus (1750); explorer Meriweather Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame (1774); and one professor/hero, Dr. Liviu Librescu (1930).
Others still with us: comedian Denis Leary (1957); actress Madeleine Stowe (1958); actor and noted Orioles fan Edward Norton (1969); electronic music maestro Aphex Twin (1971); and uh... former Baltimore Raven Bart Scott (1980).
On this day in history...
In 1587, Virginia Dare, the granddaughter of Colony of Roanoke governor John White, became the first English child born in the Americas. Exactly three years later, White, returning from a supply trip to England, found the colony deserted. To this day the exact fate of the Lost Colony is not known.
In 1783, a huge fireball meteor was spotted over Great Britain. Dragons were born that day.
In 1868, the French astronomer Pierre Janssen discovered helium, #2 on your periodic table of the elements but #1 in your hearts.
In 1920, women's suffrage was enshrined in the US Constitution with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.
In 1958, Lolita was published in the United States. Do not under any circumstances ever read this book.
And that's the way it is in Birdland on August 18 - or at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Tuesday!