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Tuesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles head west to find fame and fortune

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After an off day, the Orioles west coast swing begins. Today in the news, Adam Jones' shoes, All-Star snubs waiting to happen, people who are hitting well in June, and a strange theory about Jake Arrieta's beard.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There's something especially painful about west coast road trips. No, it's not entirely because of the Orioles spending so much time in an inferior time zone, although that's related to the problem. Waiting an extra three hours for the game to start kind of sucks. At least they had an off day out in San Diego, so hopefully there won't be any travel shenanigans dragging them down.

One bit of good news is that while the O's were idle, their closest division competition, the Red Sox, did them the favor of losing to the Rays. Former Orioles farmhand Eduardo Rodriguez was torched for nine runs in 2.2 innings of work. Boston now trails the Orioles by 4.5 games. Oh, and guess who else lost? The Blue Jays! They're now 5.5 games off the pace.

Fellow Camden Chatter Bill Duck wrote yesterday about the challenge and opportunity presented with the Orioles road schedule for the rest of the year. The west coast trip that begins today will be a good start to see if they can prove to be better than a .500 team on the road. It helps that it starts up against the last place Padres. Then again, the O's split two games against those same Padres at home, and the O's are better at home.

One other thing that will be in play over the first few games of this west coast swing is the June home run record. Can the Orioles hit enough home runs in the next three games to take that crown for themselves? It would be neat if they did, although winning the games would be even better.

Around the blogO'sphere

Special shoe collection prized possession for Orioles' Jones (Jun 27, 2016) | FOX Sports
It turns out that Adam Jones has a lot of shoes.

Sunday Notes: Yonder, Yankees, Dodgers, Pitch Selection, more | FanGraphs Baseball
Tucked into the weekly Fangraphs notes article is a little quote from Mychal Givens in which he says why he's come to prefer pitching to hitting.

An early list of potential All-Star snubs - Buster Olney Blog- ESPN
ESPN's Buster Olney thinks that Brad Brach will end up as an All-Star snub. There's no doubt Brach is pitching like an All-Star, but setup men tend to not get noticed come All-Star time - though of course, Darren O'Day was selected last year.

Trumbo on All-Star support: "It makes you feel pretty special" - School of Roch
Speaking of All-Star stuff, Mark Trumbo is happy that the fans of Birdland have supported him so much in the voting - though in the ballot update released yesterday, Trumbo had fallen to fifth, still pretty close to being a starter but now with two players to pass.

A look at the Orioles' outstanding offense in June (plus other notes) - Steve Melewski
The short version is that everyone is hitting well in June. That's how you end up going 17-8 over the span of a month - with three games still to play.

Rays Designate Ryan Webb For Assignment - MLB Trade Rumors
The Orioles kicked around Webb, a former Oriole himself, in Sunday's game that he was sent to the great DFA in the sky on Monday.

The evolution of Jake Arrieta -- and his beard (ESPN)
At least in some small way, this article seems to be positing that if only the Orioles had let Arrieta grow a full beard here, he would have been a Cy Young winner here. I may be exaggerating this just a bit.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Of all of the players to suit up for the Orioles in history, only one has a birthday today: Don Baylor from the 1970-75 O's teams. Baylor turns 67 years old today.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for this day include the following: Henry VIII of England and many wives (1491), Methodist Church founder John Wesley (1703), philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712), movie man Mel Brooks (1925), actress Kathy Bates (1948), billionaire would-be space pioneer Elon Musk (1971), and country artist Kellie Pickler (1986).

On this day in history...

In 1776, American forces scored the first decisive victory of the Revolution by triumphing in the Battle of Sullivan's Island.

In 1894, Labor Day officially became a holiday in the USA.

In 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, and wife Sophie, were assassinated in Sarajevo by a Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip. You know this from your history textbook as the proximate cause for World War I's beginning. What you may not know is that Princip only had the opportunity to shoot Ferdinand because his driver took a wrong turn.

In 1969, the Stonewall riots began in New York City. This event is credited as the beginning of the gay rights movement.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on June 28 - or at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Tuesday. Go Orioles!