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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where Matt Wieters lives again, for now

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The Orioles won last night, so life is good. Today in the links, Joey Rickard's defense, Yovani Gallardo's rehab, Mychal Givens against lefties, and what to do with Brian Matusz.

Hello, friends.

Doesn't the sun shine brighter after an Orioles win? Or at least, your memory of the sun shines brighter, since there's been very little sunshine actually happening in the Baltimore area lately. That will change eventually... well, probably. Right?

The good news is that, cloudy or not, the Orioles were in the win column on Wednesday night - and, most encouragingly, Matt Wieters offered some evidence that he might be able to break out of the funk in which he's been mired to start the season. Check out Stacey's recap of the game and make sure to vote in the MBP poll.

It's a short turnaround before the next game. As manager Buck Showalter joked last night, this will be something of a split doubleheader, what with a game starting at 12:35pm after the last one ended around 10pm yesterday. Buck's fond of saying in general: Sleep fast! Well - by the time you read this, you've probably already slept, but you know what I mean. It's the rubber match of the three game series against the Mariners today.

Noon's hours away though, and there must be entertainment in the meantime. Allow me to divert your attention with these links.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles' Joey Rickard continues to contribute stellar defense even as bat has cooled - Baltimore Sun
Using the data point of Rickard making two impressive-looking plays in Tuesday's loss, the Sun draws the conclusion that Rickard's defense has been "stellar." Has it, though?

The latest on Yovani Gallardo - School of Roch
Gallardo is set to throw a bullpen session on Sunday, and if all goes well, another one on Tuesday. Let's all hope he's an improved version when he comes off the disabled list.

Mychal Givens talks strikeouts and his numbers against lefty batters - Steve Melewski
Givens is not worried about facing lefties, though some people out there are worried about Givens facing lefty batters.

The Brian Matusz dilemma: Eat $3 million or hope for turnaround - BaltimoreBaseball.com
I think I know what most of the Camden Chat readership would choose - and it would be such an easy choice that it should hardly be categorized as a dilemma.

Looking Back: The Carlos Gomez trade - Brew Crew Ball
From our friends over at the SB Nation Brewers blog, a look back on last July's trade where they gave up Carlos Gomez. This is of interest in Birdland because former O's prospect Josh Hader went from Houston to Milwaukee in the trade. BCB's Eddie Matthews thinks Hader might get some big league action in September.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 2006, the Orioles announced a three year contract extension for Melvin Mora. Over the three years of the contract - his age 35-37 seasons - Mora batted a combined .273/.335/.422, though the last year was the worst by far. I wish Melmo could have been on a good Orioles team.

There are several former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 1998 short-timer Chris Fussell, 1986-88 outfielder Ken Gerhart, Fritzie Connally (actually named Fritzie, not a nickname) from the 1985 O's, and last but certainly not least, "Disco" Dan Ford (1982-85).

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Maryland-born philanthropist Johns Hopkins (1795), Turkish revolutionary Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881), Vietnamese Communist revolutionary Ho Chi Minh (1890), World War II fighter ace and Pearl Harbor defender Lt. Col. Harry Brown (1921 - no relation), Khmer Rouge bad dude Pol Pot (1925), Malcolm X (1925), Challenger's final pilot Dick Scobee (1939), Hollywood writer/director Nora Ephron (1941), The Who's Pete Townshend (1945), and posse-haver Andre the Giant (1946).

On this day in history...

In 1499, Catherine of Aragon was married by proxy to Arthur, Prince of Wales - she was 13 and he was 12. Catherine later was married to Arthur's brother - Henry VIII, the first of his wives.

In 1643, as part of the Thirty Years War, Duc d'Enghien's French force defeated a Spanish army under General Francisco de Melo. This is seen as the end of Spain as a land power.

In 1848, Mexico ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican-American War and ceding control of California and other territory to America for $15 million. That's about $437 million in today's money.

In 1919, that same Atatürk landed on the Black Sea coast in northern modern-day Turkey, beginning what's now known as the Turkish War of Independence.

In 1962, there was a birthday celebration for President Kennedy at Madison Square Garden. Marilyn Monroe sang him "Happy Birthday," while wearing "a beige, skintight dress covered in rhinestones, which made her appear nude."

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on May 19 - or at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Thursday. Go O's!