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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Orioles defend their Mid-Atlantic supremacy

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The Orioles have won three in a row against their southern neighbors and look to make it a fourth tonight. In today's links, Jones hints at a new approach, a MASN broadcast beef may be raging, and Jason Garcia speaks.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

It has been settled, for another year, that the Orioles are superior in every way to the upstart franchise to the south and all of its fair weather followers. Whatever the outcome of tonight's game, the Orioles have Washington's number. No one could claim any different with any bit of truth to that claim.

One might even go so far as to wonder whether the Orioles would lead the sad-sack National League East by 15 games or so, and whether that Washington team, which gets to pad its record against a pathetic division, might find itself in fourth or fifth place in this league and division.

The latest Orioles victory over the Walgreens corporate baseball team got way more interesting than it should have been. If you turned it off early you probably missed things getting too close for comfort. Check out Alex's recap of the game and make sure to vote in the Most Birdland Player poll!

The above bluster aside, there can be little reason for confidence heading into the final game of the intra-MASN series. Although more than a few people might bring up Ubaldo Jimenez's record in the mallpark on the Anacostia, they should know better than to act as though there's any kind of predictive value to that. Ubaldo is Ubaldo. But maybe he's due for a good game.

That would be good for the Orioles if he was, as they are now only a game back in the American League East, and even if they can't gain a game in the division, need to put themselves as far away from as many chasing wild card teams as they can possibly manage. I know, I won't be holding my breath either.

Around the blogO'sphere

U.S. Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky throws out first pitch at Washington Nationals-Baltimore Orioles game
In which Bryce Harper, the reigning NL MVP, is reduced to naught more than the carrier of the baggage by one of Maryland's many gold medalists from the Rio Olympics.

Why the Baltimore Orioles' outstanding closer should not win the Cy Young | FOX Sports
Ken Rosenthal weighs in on what we've been discussing for the last couple of weeks. His argument is simple: Britton won't pitch enough innings. It's hard to really argue with that.

Manny Machado Is Looking for His Cookie | FanGraphs Baseball
And he certainly got one on Wednesday night. This article is about Machado's approach at the plate, and I hope that you will find it as interesting as I have.

Adam Jones hints at change in Orioles batting approach down stretch run after hit barrage of Nats - Baltimore Sun
Is this something that's really happening or just a lot of noise? I guess we will find out. There are probably some of you out there who think that certain Orioles really need to change their approach in certain situations, or in every situation.

Ubaldo Jimenez trying to be "the best I can for the team" - School of Roch
I don't have high hopes for Jimenez at all, but I wish the very best for him, and not only because the best for Jimenez means the best for the Orioles as well.

Did two broadcasters just add a bit of spice to the Orioles-Nationals rivalry? (Washington Post)
Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog may well be the greatest chronicler of the low-level warfare that is waged between Baltimore sports fans and the Washington seventh inning leavers. He wonders whether there is some beef between MASN broadcast crews. I know who I'm backing in this fight.

Minor League Podcast: Garcia talks about pitching for O's and his recent surge at Bowie - BaltimoreBaseball.com
You may have heard, or not, that Jason Garcia has done well over his last four starts, and that the Orioles have started to limit his innings a bit. Here's Garcia talking to Dan Connolly's crew about various topics.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are two former Orioles with birthdays today. Those are the younger Gary Matthews (2002-03) and Albert Belle (1999-2000). Belle is 50 today. Yes, you are old.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Ivan the Terrible, the first Tsar of all the Russias (1530), the "Angel of Death" of the French revolution, Louis Antoine de Saint-Just (1767), conducting legend Leonard Bernstein (1918), television's Regis Philbin (1931), baseball Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers (1946), KISS founder Gene Simmons (1949), TV chef Rachael Ray (1968), fictional vampire actor Alexander Skarsgård (1976), and The OC actress Rachel Bilson (1981).

On this day in history...

In 1875, Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel. His trip from Dover, England to Calais, France, took 21 hours and 45 minutes. The Channel is 33km wide at this point, though Webb had to go with currents and swim 69km in total.

In 1916, the US National Park Service was created.

In 1944, Paris was liberated from the Nazis by the Free French. General Charles de Gaulle, leader of Free France, ended his speech as follows (translated): "We, who have lived the greatest hours of our History, we have nothing else to wish than to show ourselves, up to the end, worthy of France. Long live France!"

In 1981, the Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest approach to Saturn, and, eight years later, made its closest approach to Neptune, which was, at that time the second-to-last planet in the solar system.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on August 25 - or at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Thursday. Go Orioles!