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Tuesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles head north of the border

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After a day off, the Orioles are in Toronto where they will hopefully stay out of last place. In today’s links, the Orioles won’t have many All-Stars, ex-O’s are having problems, and more.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in fourth place in the American League East. They are just 2.5 games out of a wild card spot following an Indians win on Monday. That seems so improbable but it is in fact true. As bad as the last month and a half have been, the Orioles are - for now - in this race.

Although the Orioles are that close, they’re also just a game ahead of the last place Blue Jays, and as it happens, that’s who the Orioles are set to play for the next three games. If the Orioles lose tonight, they will be tied for last place again. If they win, they will be .500 again. It beats the alternative.

This is really a crucial stretch for the Orioles. I can’t stress that enough. Between now and the All-Star break, they will be playing ten of their next thirteen games on the road. The O’s, as you’ve probably noticed, have been pretty bad on the road - like 13-24 bad. If they go 3-7 on the road headed into the break from here, they will be in a bad place.

Prepare yourself for Kevin Gausman to start tonight. The way he has been pitching so far this season, we all need all the time that we can get to get in an emotional place where we can handle that. Maybe tonight he will pitch better? I know, I’m a regular comedian.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles’ usual galaxy of All-Star Game hopefuls is fainter this season (Baltimore Sun)
The highest-placed Oriole in All-Star Game voting is Welington Castillo in fourth place among catchers.

Showalter on McDowell: "In a lot of ways, we're lucky to have him" - School of Roch
There’s been an increasingly loud chorus of people who would like to see pitching coach Roger McDowell get fired because they just want someone to get fired. Buck is not one of those people.

Looking back on a road series win, Crichton rides the shuttle - Steve Melewski
Steve Melewski has a little bit more on one of the Norfolk-Baltimore shuttle riders.

Ex-Orioles Report: Yovani Gallardo and other castoffs who are struggling mightily in 2017 (Baltimore Baseball)
You guys, they put him in the bullpen, that’s how bad he was! Meanwhile, the Orioles have Seth Smith. I still can’t believe this.

What do the Orioles do about Chris Tillman? (FanRag)
Twitter’s Angry Oriole Bird avatar Jonathan Bernhardt takes on the question that has us all wondering the answer. What do you think?

Trade deadline preview: Baltimore Orioles (MLB Daily Dish)
Our friends over at MLB Daily Dish have an O’s trade deadline preview that’s a bit less emotionally invested than anything we might write on this blog.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are several former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2006-13 bullpen staple Jim Johnson, Birdland Day participant Oscar Salazar, Orioles Hall of Famer Jeff Conine, 1987 short-timer Nelson Simmons, 1986-87 infielder Jackie Gutierrez, and the late Lou Kretlow of the 1954-55 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: activist Emma Goldman (1869), deaf-blind activist Helen Keller (1880), designer Vera Wang (1949), movie reboot specialist J.J. Abrams (1966), and Kardashian family member Khloe Kardashian (1984).

On this day in history...

In 1743, during the War of the Austrian Succession, a British force was led by King George II in the Battle of Dettingen, the last time a reigning British monarch was in the field leading troops.

In 1895, a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad train named Royal Blue made its inaugural run from Washington, DC to New York City - the first electric locomotive passenger train of its kind in the U.S.

In 1950, the United States decided to send troops into the Korean War.

In 1981, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China proclaimed its “Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the Founding of the People's Republic of China” - in which it blamed the Cultural Revolution on Mao Zedong.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 27 - or at least, until something happens later, which it surely will, because the Orioles are going to play the Blue Jays tonight. No guarantee that something will be good. Have a safe Tuesday. Go Orioles!