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Tuesday Bird Droppings: The calm before the All-Star Game

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The All-Star Game is nearly upon us. Can the five Orioles All-Stars help secure the World Series home field advantage for the AL? Today in the links, one beat writer thinks Chris Tillman should have been an All-Star.

Hello, friends.

As of this posting, there are approximately 84 hours remaining until the next Orioles game. That's no fun at all, although at least there will be the All-Star Game coming up tonight, with five O's on the American League team. At some point or another, three or four of them should even get to play in the game, so O's fans can find something to enjoy about the game.

We've come a long way from the days when there were six years in a row with just a single Orioles All-Star. I don't think I'll ever forget the season where the only All-Star was Ty Wigginton. Poor Nick Markakis never did get his shot even though he deserved one, but the "there can only be one" rule screwed him on too many bad Orioles teams. So it goes.

One positive of the All-Star layoff is that the Orioles remain in first place the entire time. There's no such thing as a bad baseball day where the Orioles end up in first place. That will have to carry us through the days off. After the break, it'll probably be up to the starting rotation. That's a much scarier thought.

But enough worrying about that right now. Manny Machado is batting third in the All-Star Game. The Orioles have two sub-1.00 ERA relievers on the All-Star roster. Mark Trumbo has hit 28 home runs and counting. This has been a fun season so far and there could be a lot more fun still to come.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles’ party of five All-Stars overcame adversity en route to San Diego - Baltimore Sun
The Sun doesn't appear to have actually sent their summer intern to San Diego, but they did let him write an All-Star story based on stuff the Orioles said before they left town.

Myriad O's thoughts: Humble Tillman snubbed; Britton's surge; first-half, first-place - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly thinks that Chris Tillman should have been an All-Star. He's wrong, of course. Hear him out anyway.

The Fun Index: Ranking the All-Stars based on how fun they are (ESPN)
Some ESPN guy went to the trouble of ranking All-Stars from most fun to least fun. In his judgment, Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, and Paul Goldschmidt, among others, are all ahead of Manny Machado. OK? Naturally, he doesn't even rank Brad Brach.

Showalter confident in the roster he has right now - Baltimore Sun
He would say this exact thing even if the Orioles had the second-worst starting rotation in the American League... which, come to think of it, they do.

Dan Duquette on the Orioles' All-Stars - School of Roch
One thing Dan Duquette will tell to anyone listening, and some people who aren't, is that the Orioles have the most All-Star selections in the AL since 2012.

Davis on the first half, Duquette on the rotation, Brach on All-Star nod - Steve Melewski
Another thing Duquette will tell to anyone listening is that there are 15 teams looking for starting pitching help. This is his way of telling you that the Orioles aren't going to trade for any starting pitcher who matters, regardless of how bad they need one.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Of all of the players to ever play for the Orioles, just one ever had a birthday today: the late pitcher Jack Harshman from the 1958-59 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Walden author Henry David Thoreau (1817), Eastman Kodak founder George Eastman (1854), Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oscar Hammerstein II (1895), old-time NASCAR driver and broadcaster Benny Parsons (1941), gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi (1971), wrestler/MMA fighter Brock Lesnar (1977), That 70's Show's Topher Grace (1978), and Fast & Furious actress Michelle Rodriguez (1978).

On this day in history...

In 1191, in the Third Crusade, Saladin's garrison at Acre surrendered to King Philip Augustus of France.

In 1543, King Henry VIII of England married his sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr.

In 1804, Alexander Hamilton died, having been shot in a duel with Aaron Burr the day before. Centuries later, D'Angelo and Wallace would have a disagreement about whether Hamilton was ever a president. Also, I hear there's a musical about Hamilton now or something? Crazy.

In 1862, the Medal of Honor was authorized by the United States Congress. Since then, the award has been given out to 3,494 men and one woman. Over half were given out during the Civil War. On July 18, Lt. Col. Charles Kettles will receive a Medal of Honor for action undertaken as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam on May 15, 1967.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on July 12 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Tuesday. Go American League All-Stars!