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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are finally almost .500 again

So, the Orioles swept the Royals. Who saw that coming? Next: The Tigers. In today's links, updating some Orioles prospects, the Rule 5 guy will arrive soon, and more.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in fourth place in the American League East. They are 5.5 games back of the division-leading Red Sox. However, things have gotten a lot more interesting in the wild card race. They're just 2.5 games back of the second wild card Royals after pulling off the sweep, with just three teams to pass.

If you missed Wednesday's win, check out Tyler Young's recap of the game and make sure to vote in the Most Birdland Player poll. The Orioles also gained a game on the Mariners, who were losers on Wednesday.

They're going to have to keep winning for this recent winning to actually matter. The Tigers are coming to town for a four-game series starting tonight. The Tigers have been reeling this season, so this is a series where the Orioles really, really need to do well to carry this positive momentum forward. Maybe they can?

It's hard to imagine the Orioles can keep this recent stretch of good pitching going for the rest of the season. Then again, I didn't think that the pitching staff had a five game stretch like the most recent one in them, either. They are always capable of surprising me!

Sometimes that's a good thing. And you never know, maybe Dan Duquette's imitation of the historic legend of Cortez sinking his ships so there was no turning back inspired the clubhouse in some way.

Around the blogO'sphere

Givens on Britton staying, his big year and more - Steve Melewski
One guy who is happy about Zach Britton sticking around is Mychal Givens.

Baltimore Orioles seem to be planning for neither the present nor the future (Washington Post)

Oh, look, somebody else who's unimpressed with the Orioles trade deadline choices.

Early notes on Flaherty, Santander, Rickard, catchers and more - School of Roch
Do you remember Ryan Flaherty? He's coming back soon! And Rule 5 pick Anthony Santander, who's been raking in a few games in Bowie, will be showing up eventually, too.

The Baltimore Orioles buy short (Beyond the Box Score)

Our fellow SB Nation friends over at Beyond the Box Score liked the acquisition of Tim Beckham. After two games, I'm willing to proclaim this trade a win for the Orioles.

Dan Duquette explains the Orioles' frequent trades of international signing bonus slots (Baltimore Sun)

This is a bad explanation that goes a long way to explaining why the Orioles farm system has been as troubled as it is, especially when it comes to pitching prospects.

Orioles' Caleb Joseph and Welington Castillo literally splitting time at catcher (Baltimore Sun)

Have you noticed the split? Peter Schmuck has.

Lee to Norfolk's bullpen; other Orioles prospect updates (Baltimore Baseball)

Remember when Chris Lee was going to be an Orioles rotation option? Well, that hasn't happened. Here's Baltimore Baseball's Dean Jones with the ups and downs of the farm lately. He is NOT a fan of the Tim Beckham trade.

Ranking the Prospects Traded During Deadline Season | FanGraphs Baseball
At least based on this analysis, nobody should be regretting the prospects the Orioles gave up for either Beckham or Jeremy Hellickson.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 2001, the Orioles played a game against the Blue Jays in Toronto that was plagued by an infestation of aphids, none of whom, to the best of my knowledge, threw a can of beer onto the field.

There are two former Orioles with birthdays today. One of them is recent: toe-tapping home run-hitting strikeout king Mark Reynolds. One is not-so-recent: 1961 bullpen guy Dick Hyde, who turns 89 years old today.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Napoleonic era Prussian King Frederick William III (1770), baseball Hall of Famer Harry Heilmann (1894), war correspondent Ernie Pyle (1900), evolution teacher John T. Scopes (1900), actor Martin Sheen (1940), decorating legend Martha Stewart (1941), Metallica's James Hetfield (1963), actress Evangeline Lilly (1979), and bad alibi-haver Ryan Lochte (1984).

On this day in history...

In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail with the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria from Palos de la Frontera, Spain.

In 1852, Harvard and Yale competed in a boat race. The race, which was won by Harvard, was the first intercollegiate athletic event in America.

In 1914, World War I escalated as Germany declared war on France.

In 1936, Jesse Owens won the gold medal for the 100 meter dash at the Olympics in Berlin.

In 1949, a merger between the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League was finalized, creating what remains today as the National Basketball Association.


And that's the way it is in Birdland on August 3 - or at least, until something happens later, which it surely will when the Orioles get started on their series against the Tigers. Have a safe Thursday. Go Orioles!