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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are below .500 again

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Well, the Orioles are back below .500. In today’s links, proof the ball is juiced, history’s hitless Orioles, and the umpire who saved a life.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in fourth place in the American League East. If they lose tonight, they will be tied for last. They are now five games out of the division lead and 2.5 games out of a wild card spot with five teams to pass to get there.

If you missed the not-so-lovely totals from last night’s loss in Toronto, in which the Orioles were shut out for the fifth time this season, check out Stacey’s recap of the game.

The O’s need a win to get back to .500. To do so, they will need to win a game started by Ubaldo Jimenez. In other words, hold on to your butts. And if you think the Orioles should end up as buyers, you’d better be pretty dang sure. Trading prospects for someone who doesn’t help anything and isn’t even good would be a disappointment.

How are you feeling about the O’s chances today?

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles closer Zach Britton ready for back-to-back rehab outings Thursday and Friday (Baltimore Sun)
Not everything is bad news in Birdland! Just most of it.

Exploring the ‘0-fer-Orioles’ club - Washington could be 33rd member in modern team history (Baltimore Baseball)
Friend of the blog Paul Folkemer runs down some Orioles who never did get a hit with the team, prompted by David Washington’s recent demotion.

What they're saying about Castillo, Givens, Schoop and Mancini - School of Roch
Some Orioles have some nice things to say about other Orioles who are playing well.

The Orioles' GCL and DSL team rosters (Bowie's All-Stars) - Steve Melewski
The Baysox have five All-Stars! That’s actually kind of impressive.

Blue Jays’ beer-can thrower banned from MLB games (The Score)
Making baseball a better place, one banned fan at a time.

In MLB’s new home run era, it’s the baseballs that are juicing (FiveThirtyEight)
It’s not just a Jim Palmer conspiracy theory. FiveThirtyEight has the math that proves that MLB has been juicing the baseballs this season, despite their denials of the same.

MLB umpire pulls woman from edge of Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh (Post-Gazette)
This is just an incredible story.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are two former Orioles with birthdays today. They are 2010-11 short-timer Pedro Viola, and the late Dizzy Trout, who appeared in all of two games for the 1957 Orioles at the age of 42.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Panama Canal co-designer George Washington Goethals (1858), Battle of the Bulge Medal of Honor winner Francis S. Currey (1925), baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew (1936), the late sportscasting legend Craig Sager (1951), and performer Nicole Scherzinger (1978).

Sgt. Currey’s Medal of Honor citation is for an action in Malmedy, Belgium, in which he responded to a German tank/infantry attack by shooting a tank with a bazooka while under fire, shooting three Germans in a doorway, knocking down a wall in a German-held house with a rocket launcher, chasing tank crew into a house with anti-tank grenades, climbing onto a half-track to fire a machine gun at that same house, then ran to another machine gun in order to cover the withdrawal of five American soldiers who had been pinned down by enemy fire. Today is his 92nd birthday.

On this day in history...

In 1613, London’s Globe Theatre, a theater associated with Shakespeare, burned to the ground. A modern reconstruction was rebuilt in 1997.

In 1956, with the signing of the Federal Highway Act of 1956, the Interstate Highway System was created.

In 1972, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in Furman v. Georgia in which it deemed that arbitrary, inconsistent application of the death penalty violated both the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, being cruel and unusual punishment.

In 2006, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, in which it held that President Bush’s plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals was in violation of both U.S. and international law.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 29 - or at least, until something happens later, which it surely will, but since Jimenez is pitching, there’s no guarantee that any of it will be good. Have a safe Thursday. Go Orioles!