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Tuesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are back in first place edition

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The Orioles didn't even have to play yesterday to get back into first place. In today's links, why the Orioles can win, Ryan Mountcastle's solid season, and why Matt Wieters isn't the problem.

Hello, friends.

Who needed that off day? One person who definitely needed it is Chris Davis, though he's probably not the only one. Davis is the one who is batting .200 with 18 strikeouts in 13 games this month, though. Yikes. Anyone weary or ailing will surely welcome that day off, and even the people who are relatively healthy likely won't mind being back in Baltimore.

The Orioles got some good news on their off day, as the Blue Jays lost a game in New York. That sets up a tie atop the AL East once again. If you want to get down to percentage points, the Orioles actually lead by .001. The only way they will be able to stay up top is if they just win and keep on winning, though.

Oh yeah, and the other reason why the Orioles have to keep on winning? The Red Sox are now only one game back in the division. Yes, with 45 games left to play, there are three teams within a game of the AL East lead. And heck, at 5.5 games back, even the Yankees aren't as buried as I wish they were. If the Orioles stumble out of the division lead, they're also only 3.5 games up on the Mariners for a wild card spot. There can be no coasting.

Guess who's coming to town next? Yes, it's those same Red Sox. A two game series starts tonight. The Orioles have a prime chance to get some separation, but an equally prime chance to dig themselves a hole. Let's hope that's not what happens.

Around the blogO'sphere

Five reasons why the Orioles can be winners this October | CSN Mid-Atlantic
Rich Dubroff was keeping things positive on the Orioles off day. They are five good reasons.

Brittany Ghiroli On Orioles Pitching: ‘I Don’t Think Matt Wieters Is The Problem’ " CBS Baltimore
There is definitely *A* problem, or more than one problem. Different people may have different opinions about the level of contribution Wieters makes to the problem situation.

Britton's epic failures in back-to-back starts a distant memory - School of Roch
I don't have any idea why this was the topic of a post on August 15, 2016, but as the manager of a blog which has to write something every day, I am sympathetic because sometimes, especially on an off day, there aren't any better ideas.

Orioles prospect Ryan Mountcastle wrapping successful first full season in Delmarva - Baltimore Sun
Ryan Mountcastle is doing his best to make sure that I can't keep referring to Chance Sisco as the top/only Orioles position player prospect.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 1995, the Orioles traded Damon Buford and Alex Ochoa for Bobby Bonilla. For a guy who was only here for a year and a half, Bonilla really made an impression on me.

Oh yeah, and on this day in 1963, the Orioles signed an amateur free agent pitcher named Jim Palmer. You might have heard of him. I think his claim to fame involves something to do with grand slams?

There are three former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: Bret Barberie (1995 infielder), and the late Gene Brabender (1966-68) and Gene Woodling (1955, 58-60).

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include the following: Colonel T.E. Lawrence "of Arabia" (1888), television's Kathie Lee Gifford (1953), movie dude James Cameron (1954), the singer Madonna (1958), funny man Steve Carell (1962), Maryland grad and sports broadcaster Bonnie Bernstein (1970), thousand mile walker Vanessa Carlton (1980), and How I Met Your Mother's Mother, Cristin Milioti (1985).

On this day in history...

In 1328, the House of Gonzaga took control of the Duchy of Mantua in modern day Italy. However, they were eliminated in the second round.

In 1858, President James Buchanan inaugurated the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria. Buchanan was the eighth of seventeen American presidents during Victoria's 63-year reign, if you don't count Grover Cleveland twice.

In 1916, the United States and Canada (then a dominion of the United Kingdom) signed the Migratory Bird Treaty. Yes, this is one of the most exciting things on this day in history.

In 1954, the first issue of Sports Illustrated was published.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on August 16 - or at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Tuesday. Go Orioles, and go Americans in the Olympics!