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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles have the day off

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The Orioles could use a day off after that west coast trip, and they get one. In today's links, resting Jones, some Beckham love, Boog Powell has a birthday, and more.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Seattle Mariners Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in fourth place in the American League East. More importantly to their fortunes this season, they are now three games out of the second wild card spot in the AL, with six teams to pass - and even the Blue Jays have crept up within half a game of the O's.

Teams are out there heating up. The Angels and the Twins have won seven out of ten. Not surprisingly, it's the Angels who are holding onto the second wild card right now, with the Twins just one game back. Sooner or later, that's going to have to be the Orioles, or else they're going to just stay right where they are, never getting in the race, never quite getting out of it.

The Orioles definitely did not heat up on that west coast trip they just concluded. If you missed Wednesday's 7-6 loss to the Mariners, that's probably better for you. Make sure to check out my recap of the game.

How are you going to spend this day off from the Orioles? Enjoy it well! If you haven't been to see Dunkirk in theaters yet, I suggest you think about doing so. I saw it over the weekend and while it isn't an easy film to watch, it's very good and worth your time.

Now let's hit the links, and I'm not talking about the golf course.

Around the blogO'sphere

Showalter on decision to rest Jones - School of Roch
Adam Jones had the day off yesterday. He wasn't even given a chance to pinch hit in the ninth inning when Chris Davis was batting against a lefty specialist.

Did the Orioles Steal Tim Beckham? | FanGraphs Baseball
Early indications are that the answer is yes, although of course, it's only been a bit more than two weeks. There will be a lot more that happens to determine the trade's success overall.

Missed opportunities mar Orioles' disappointing West Coast trip (Baltimore Sun)

It's just such a bummer that the Orioles went 4-6 on this trip. And it didn't have to be this way! A tragedy of possibility, truly.

The Orioles' offense continues to score in bunches - and then snore in bunches (Baltimore Baseball)

Score vs. snore. Nice. And of course, they're not wrong. It is a boom or bust offense! And sometimes when they boom, the pitching sucks.

Baltimore Orioles Top 20 prospects for 2017: Mid-season review (Minor League Ball)

Our fellow SB Nation friends over at Minor League Ball are revisiting the preseason top 20 prospects for the O's to see how everybody is doing. A lot of things are going well.

Behind the numbers -- Stories of how MLB players picked their uniform (ESPN)
If you ever wanted to know why J.J. Hardy picked the uniform number 2, this is your article. Turns out that one reason is he was nudged away from picking number 7, Cal Sr.'s number.

Albert Pujols Grounded Into History | FanGraphs Baseball
You might have missed it a couple of weeks ago - Cal Ripken Jr.'s MLB record for GIDPs fell.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are three former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2008-09 pitcher Chris Waters, the original Boog Powell, and the late John Buzhardt of the 1967 O's.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: American legend Davy Crockett (1786), actress Mae West (1890), Watergate's Deep Throat, W. Mark Felt (1913), Nobel Prize-winning author V. S. Naipaul (1932), actor Robert De Niro (1943), football talker Jon Gruden (1963), and singer/actor Donnie Wahlberg (1969).

On this day in history...

In 1560, the Roman Catholic Church was overthrown in Scotland and Protestantism was established as the national religion.

In 1585, as part of the Eighty Years War, Antwerp was captured following a siege by a Spanish force. The conquering Spanish decreed that all Protestants must flee the city, so half of the residents left.

In 1943, in World War II, the Allies completed their conquest of Sicily, ending a battle that had raged for over a month.

In 1969, Hurricane Camille, a Category 5 storm, struck the Gulf Coast of the US, killing 256 people and causing more than $1 billion worth of damage.

In 1977, a Soviet icebreaker called Arktika became the first surface ship to reach the North Pole.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on August 17 - or at least, unless something happens later, which it might, since the Orioles have to activate and do something with Ryan Flaherty today. Have a safe Thursday. Go O's!