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Saturday Bird Droppings: Where we’ve got our shortstop

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The Yankees are in an ALCS hole, and that’s OK with this Orioles fan. In today’s links, the struggle of the DH, a Tim Beckham debate, and more.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 165 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2018. For today, at least, there will be two games to entertain us, as the Yankees and Astros have an afternoon contest to continue the ALCS while the Cubs and Dodgers get the NLCS started.

The ALCS got off to a fun start on Friday night, with the Astros taking a 2-1 victory in the opener. That’s continued the home team dominance in this postseason, though of course there were exceptions, like the Nationals losing the fifth game when they were at home. I didn’t need to bring that up again, of course, but I did, because it still makes me happy.

The Yankees losing also makes me happy, of course. They could lose again today and that would be plenty OK. My favorite thing about the postseason so far, other than the Red Sox and Nationals getting eliminated, is that the Yankees have not gotten a single hit or walk from their designated hitter spot so far this postseason.

Isn’t that just amazing? Although, as you will see in the below links, Orioles fans can’t be so quick to gloat about a failure of offense out of the DH spot in the lineup.

Around the blogO’sphere

As playoffs progress, Orioles could learn from Yankees’ rebuild (Baltimore Sun)
The lesson to learn is “Get good, young players.” Gee, why didn’t the Orioles think to try that?

Questions regarding Beckham, Wright, Sisco, and Castro (School of Roch)
The question about Mike Wright is whether he’s a starter or a reliever. This seems to be missing the more significant question about whether he’s a big leaguer, which his big league performance to date does not answer favorably.

A position-by-position look at O’s offense against league average (Steve Melewski)
The worst-hitting position for the Orioles this season was designated hitter, which seems rather less than ideal. Hey, Mark Trumbo’s only signed for two more years.

Inside Baseball AL Notes: An O’s debate over Beckham? (FanRag Sports)
Jon Heyman observes that “some” see Tim Beckham as a source of disagreement between Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette - with Duquette being more fond of Swaggy T.

Being right-right is no draft delight (Baseball America)
Trey Mancini figures heavily into this article by BA’s John Manuel about how right-handed hitting first basemen aren’t highly-regarded in the draft, which allows them to really surprise people.

Matt Wieters continues to be cursed (Fangraphs)
I don’t delight in the fact that Wieters appears to have had his career completely collapse, but I do delight in the fact that the Nationals are paying for it.

Mountcastle showing hard contact in AFL (Keith Law - ESPN)
Law got a look at Ryan Mountcastle in the Arizona Fall League. He’s hitting the ball hard, which is a plus, but the jury’s still out on whether he has the arm to stick at third base.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2005 two-gamer Midre Cummings, 1986-88 reserve catcher Carl Nichols, 1976-80 infielder Kiko Garcia, and 1976 backup Tommy Harper, who turns 77 years old today. Happy birthday all around.

Is today your birthday too? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890), poet e.e. cummings (1894), political philospher Hannah Arendt (1906), seven-time James Bond, Roger Moore (1927), designer Ralph Lauren (1939), actress Lori Petty (1963), Dixie Chicks singer-songwriter Natalie Maines (1974), singer-songwriter Usher (1978), and Maryland-born wrestling personality Stacy Keibler (1979).

On this day in history...

In 1066, the Norman invaders of William the Conqueror defeated the King Harold II’s English at the Battle of Hastings, plowing the way for William to take the crown for himself.

In 1884, inventor George Eastman received a US government patent for paper-strip photographic film.

In 1912, during a campaign stop in Milwaukee, former president Theodore Roosevelt was shot. The bullet passed through his glasses case and a 50-page copy of his 90-minute speech before lodging in his chest. Roosevelt gave the speech and never had the bullet removed.

In 1926, children’s book Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne was first published.

In 1947, US Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager became the first human to break the sound barrier while flying an experimental aircraft named the Glamorous Glennis, after his wife.

In 1962, a US reconnaissance plane flying over Cuba snapped photographs of Soviet missiles being installed on the island, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis.

In 1979, the first Gay Rights march on Washington, DC took place. The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which drew about 100,000 marchers, demanded “an end to all social, economic, judicial, and legal oppression of lesbian and gay people.”

In 1982, President Reagan proclaimed a war on drugs.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 14 - or at least, unless something happens later. Not much will happen with the Orioles, of course, although a number of ex-Orioles could find their way into the Cubs-Dodgers game. Have a safe Saturday.