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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where we'll take a HBP like a champ - just not at our heads

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Today in the Orioles links, rounding up the reactions to Jonathan Papelbon's latest chicanery, an old Oriole reacts to the passing of Yogi Berra, Miguel Gonzalez works back towards real action, and more.

Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

As the sun's tendrils of light sneak over the horizon this morning, they dawn upon an Orioles team that is one game below .500. Win later and they are .500 again. Win the day after that and it's an above-.500 team! It can be done! But will it? Probably not. Still, as long as those meager hopes can be nurtured - like MASN's insistence on talking about the Orioles being "only" four games out of the second wild card spot - we might as well enjoy them.

What a game last night, huh? If you haven't read about it yet, make sure to check out our recap by Nick Cicere, because there were shenanigans afoot - like Jonathan Papelbon intentionally throwing at Manny Machado's head. Where's Robert Andino when you need him?

An Orioles fan on Twitter grabbed this from the broadcast, which illustrates the difference between the Orioles and Nationals better than any words ever could:

Around the blogO'sphere

A couple of tough choices sink Nationals in loss to Orioles (Washington Post)
The Nationals beat writer for the Washington Post offers some thoughts on why the game played out as it did. The polite newspaper-speak description of Papelbon throwing at Manny is a hilarious bit of soft-pedaling, for which I do not fault the writer at all.

School of Roch: Wrapping up a 4-3 win and the benches-clearing incident
If you need me, I'll just be over here laughing like Jabba the Hutt.

Manny Machado is youngest Baltimore Orioles player to reach 500 hits - Baltimore Sun
Machado reached his 500th hit in Tuesday's game. That is a pretty cool milestone for someone so young. The home run off Scherzer from Wednesday was #501.

Orioles' Miguel Gonzalez tosses simulated game | orioles.com
It remains to be seen how much it matters that Miguel Gonzalez is on the road back from injury, but with the simulated game step out of the way, he should be back in time to make a couple of starts before season's end.

Former Orioles slugger Boog Powell fondly remembers Yankees catcher Yogi Berra - Baltimore Sun
As you probably saw yesterday, Yankees great and all around baseball legend Yogi Berra passed away on Tuesday night. The Sun spoke to one former Oriole whose teams faced off against Berra.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 1971, the Orioles clinched the division title. They won both games of a doubleheader against the Indians. Mike Cuellar picked up his 20th win of the season in a 9-2 win in the first game. Pat Dobson grabbed his 20th win with a 7-0 shutout in the second game. The last Orioles 20-game winner was Mike Boddicker in 1984.

A number of former Orioles have birthdays today, including the immortal Travis Ishikawa turning 32, Jesse Garcia (31 games in 1999-2000) turning 42, Kevin Millar turning 44, Rafael Palmeiro turning 51, and today would have been birthday #75 for the late Curt Motton.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, you share this birthday with some people from the history books, including the longest-serving Chief Justice in US history, John Marshall (1755); novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896), Muppet master Jim Henson (1936), and Medal of Honor winner SFC Paul Smith (1969), who posthumously received the first such medal given during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Among those still with us, your birthday buddies include The Incredibles writer/director Brad Bird (1957), Hercules actor Kevin Sorbo (1958), WWE personality Stephanie McMahon (1976), and Washington Capitals hockey dude Karl Alzner (1988).

On this day in history...

In 1664, New Amsterdam was surrendered to England by the Dutch. It was quickly renamed to New York. Why they changed it, I can't say. People just liked it better that way.

In 1780, traitor Benedict Arnold's plot was exposed and he fled to British lines.

In 1906, President Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed the nation's first National Monument - Devil's Tower in Wyoming.

In 1960, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier - the USS Enterprise - launched. If you ever find yourself traveling through time in search of whales, make sure you also know where to find the nuclear wessels.

In 1968, 60 Minutes made its debut on CBS. It will air in its entirety following the game, except on the west coast, when it will air at its normal time.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on September 24 - at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Thursday. Go Orioles!