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Thursday Bird Droppings

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Obviously, the terrible news that Mike Flanagan has left us for the Big Memorial Stadium in the Sky is the dominant story in Birdland journalism this morning. Flanny was Birdland. He was one of us, and he will be sorely missed.

Stan The Fan: Remember how Flanagan lived - CSN Baltimore
"For my part, I am fighting the urge to want to know exactly what Flanny's last moments were like. I’d rather remember the last time I saw Mike, at the Orioles Hall of Fame Induction luncheon as he introduced O's trainer Richie Bancells. Flanagan was funny, light-hearted and clearly in the moment as one of the lasting consciences of the Orioles' organization."

Eisenberg: Flanagan was soul of Orioles - CSN Baltimore
"When the Orioles closed out their 37-year run at Memorial Stadium in 1991, they staged a farewell weekend of games that built to an emotional crescendo that had all of Baltimore in tears as an era ended. The team carefully selected Mike Flanagan to throw the final pitch. He was the consummate Oriole of the 1970s and 1980s, a bulldog-tough left-handed pitcher who won 23 games and the American League’s Cy Young award in 1979. Although he was near the end of his career at that point, the challenging task of giving a rousing finish to a franchise’s glory days didn’t overwhelm him. He could rise to an occasion like few others. He ambled in from the bullpen in the ninth inning and struck out a pair of Detroit Tigers as a packed house of more than 57,000 fans and virtually every great player in Orioles history looked on. "I was a mess," he said later, after a "Field of Dreams" postgame ceremony that remains one of the best Baltimore sports moments of the past half-century." That afternoon is by far my best memory of Flanagan, who died Wednesday at age 59.

Orioles Insider: Sharing thoughts about Mike Flanagan -
A collection of some from around Birdland.

I was once Mike Flanagan's biggest fan | Roar From 34
"I haven't drawn any great conclusions about what is the most appropriate response to sad news about a public figure, even - or especially - when the news hits close to home. In the case of Mike Flanagan, whose talents peaked at the same time as my childhood imagination, my reaction is simply this: Thanks for the memories."

Tim Kurkjian - Cy Young winner Mike Flanagan, 1951-2011 - ESPN
''Flanny,' as everyone called him, had not been his usual personable, hilarious self in recent years. The many losses he took as the Orioles general manager wore on him, and he took them home. Being replaced as GM in 2008 depressed him even more. He returned to broadcasting in 2010, and again became one of the best color commentators in the game, but he still wasn't the guy I remember turning to after so many games for a line, a laugh or an observation. "I'm getting back to my old self," he told me last year. But the last time I saw him, less than a week ago, he didn't look very good. And now he's gone, and all of Baltimore is weeping that one of the greatest Orioles is gone before age 60."

Jones dealing with lingering soreness, may not play Thursday -
"I have a sore chest muscle, sore shoulder," Jones said. "The soreness in my shoulder and chest went into my neck, and I’m just sore everywhere."

Daniel Moroz: Simon making strides as an effective rotation option - MASN
"Look at his stuff: a two-seam fastball that averages 94-95 mph even as a starter and has decent movement, a four-seamer he'll occasionally mix in to righties to good effect; a splitter that looks like the fastball before the bottom falls out, a slider that might be more of a slurve at the moment given that it's slower and has more sweeping break; and a cutter he tends to use away to righties (but not really inside to lefties, who he hasn't often thrown it to). That's a four- or five-pitch arsenal with pitches everywhere from around 75 to 97 mph."

Buster Olney: Remembering Mike Flanagan, funniest man in baseball - ESPN
"For Flanny, the stories were as much part of baseball as the sport itself -- the community of baseball, the shared experience." - edited to add this nice tribute from Buster Olney

Mike Flanagan Career Highlights - The Hardball Times
One more Flanny link. Lots of good memories in here.