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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where pies are on the menu again

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The Orioles are off today. It's also Cal Ripken's birthday. In today's links, Britton on his knee, Bundy on extra rest, and Nuno off the 40-man roster.

Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in third place in the American League East. They remain 11.5 games behind the division-leading Red Sox, who they will be playing next. It remains not really worth thinking about that number of games as if it means something. It's wild card or bust for the Orioles.

Speaking of that wild card, the Orioles gained a little ground on some of the competition on Wednesday. The O's won dramatically in extra innings, while the Twins lost a walkoff against the White Sox, so the O's picked up a game on the Twins. They'll either end up four games behind the Angels or 3.5 games behind the Twins - depending on an Angels result after when I'm writing this.

It's an off day for the Orioles today, so don't expect a whole lot of news or excitement, although there is the whole Zach Britton getting an MRI on his knee thing. Whether we hear about that today is another story, given how much of Orioles news is only disseminated once beat reporters show up to the stadium and hear about it from Buck Showalter.

Most of the O's wild card competition will be in action on Thursday even though the O's are off, so let's hope that enough of the right teams end up losing in order for the O's to pick up a half game here and there without even having to play.

Got any fun plans for the off night? I've got to say that the idea of not having to watch any Orioles starting pitcher for a day has more than a little bit of appeal.

Around the blogO'sphere

Zach Britton on his left knee and other clubhouse quotes - Steve Melewski
The Orioles really k-need a healthy Britton as soon as possible.

Orioles outright Vidal Nuño - School of Roch
In case anyone out there remembered or cared that Vidal Nuno was on the 40-man roster: Now he's not.

Orioles starter Dylan Bundy adjusts to rest instead of routine (Baltimore Sun)

The rest certainly seemed to do Bundy well in advance of Wednesday's start. If only that rest didn't come with the cost of Chris Tillman in the starting rotation and a short-handed bullpen.

Myriad O's thoughts: Ubaldo's ongoing struggles; Orioles' lack of momentum; a half-hearted Game of Thrones night (Baltimore Baseball)

Friend of the Blog Paul Folkemer wants to know why the Orioles put the absolute bare minimum effort possible into having a Game of Thrones night at Camden Yards - a question to which I would also like to know an answer.

Something in Minnesota Has Clicked | FanGraphs Baseball
Unfortunately for the Orioles wild card hopes, Jeff Sullivan thinks that things are clicking for the Twins. So the Orioles may have to play that much better in order to get into the postseason.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 1970, the Orioles beat the Athletics, 5-1, with Dave McNally as the winning pitcher. This was McNally's 20th win of the season and marked his third consecutive season having 20+ wins.

In 1983, with ultra-emergency catcher Lenn Sakata behind the plate, Tippy Martinez picked off three Blue Jays in the 10th inning of a game. Sakata went on to hit a three-run walkoff home run in the bottom of the inning.

One lone former Oriole has a birthday today, but it's a good one: Cal Ripken Jr. turns 57 years old. Happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with Cal, your birthday buddies for today include: R2-D2 operator Kenny Baker (1934), novelist A.S. Byatt (1936), WWE co-founder Vince McMahon (1945), Metal Gear Solid auteur Hideo Kojima (1963), director Ava DuVernay (1972), and Harry Potter's Ron, Rupert Grint (1988).

On this day in history...

In 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the city of Pompeii (and others) in ash - although apparently in recent years this traditional date has been questioned, with the possibility that it really happened on October 24.

In 410, Rome was pillaged by the Visigoths. In 455, Rome was pillaged by the Vandals. The same day both times - what are the chances?

In 1456, the printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed. Notably, this was the first major book printed using a mass-produced, movable metal type in Europe. A total of 21 complete copies still exist, including five in the United States.

In 1814, the British invaded Washington, D.C., and burned, among other things, the White House.

In 1909, workers began pouring concrete for the Panama Canal.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on August 24 - or at least, unless something happens later, which you never really know, even though it's an off day. Have a safe Thursday. Go Orioles!