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Monday Bird Droppings: The first day of the Orioles offseason

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The offseason is finally here. Who’s ready for six months of no baseball? In today’s links, Chris Davis on Davis, keeping the O’s fresh for next year, and more.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 177 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2018. Thanks to the early March start next season, the O’s open up the offseason with slightly less than six months to go until there’s real baseball again. It’s going to be a long six months, though. Hang in there with us!

I have to say, though, that for now, I’m glad that the Orioles are doing playing. I’ve had enough of looking at them for a while. You can probably get a sense of that if you check out my recap of the season-ending 6-0 loss to the Rays, in which the Orioles struck out a season-high 18 times. I think they wanted to get it over with quick. They succeeded... at least until Brad Brach got involved and gave up five runs.

There’s no baseball at all to watch today. The playoffs don’t start until tomorrow. It’s going to be weird. How are you planning to spend the first day of the O’s-less existence? Got a TV backlog to start to clear out, or perhaps a book to read? I’m reading a very bad book about zombies. It’s horrible and I’m loving the heck out of it.

Let’s hit the links for the first time this offseason.

Around the blogO’sphere

Chris Davis: ‘There were so many nights out there when I was just a name in the lineup’ (Baltimore Sun)
I think most fans were all-too-aware of Davis’s ongoing presence in the lineup even as he struck out more than ever. It’s an interesting bit of self-reflection, though. I hope that he’s able to change things as much as he hopes.

In September, homers and runs were hard to find - Steve Melewski
One thing I hope the Orioles figure out this offseason is whether the September collapse is something that could have been avoided. Say... do you think this next one is connected?

After looking tired down the stretch, how can Orioles stay fresh in 2018? (Baltimore Sun)
Step one is having a pitching staff that’s not so horrible that you constantly need to play with a short bench. Step two is that even if the bench is short and the players aren’t all that great, play the bench more! We say this every year, it seems.

Buck Showalter discusses Orioles' season | MLB.com
In which Dan Duquette splits hairs over whether you “rebuild” or “reload” in the American League East.

Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells retiring - School of Roch
Richie Bancells has been around with the Orioles longer than I have been alive. Next year, he won’t be around any more. It’s going to be a small but weird thing.

Thoughts on the idea that the Phillies could ‘target’ Showalter as their next manager (Baltimore Baseball)
A Philly-based reporter tossed out a piece of wild speculation. Don’t panic about it.

Sunday notes: Charlie Morton is different (and better) - Fangraphs
Names dropped in the Fangraphs Sunday notes column include Buck Showalter, Steven Brault, and Josh Hader. Food for thought: Did a mediocre team end up winning the second AL wild card spot?

Birthdays and anniversaries

In 2014, the O’s beat the Tigers, 12-3, in Game 1 of the ALDS. They scored four runs off of the vaunted Max Scherzer, who got outdueled by Chris Tillman.

In 2016, the O’s clinched their wild card berth by beating the Yankees in the regular season finale.

One lone former Oriole has a birthday today. It’s 2003’s Rule 5 pick Jose Morban, who I once saw described in a newspaper article (jokingly, I think) as the reason that then-manager Mike Hargrove hated his job. For the pedants out there, Morban was actually selected in 2002, meaning he had to be on the roster in 2003. It was his only MLB season.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: slave uprising leader Nat Turner (1800), Indian independence activist Mahatma Gandhi (1869), funny man Groucho Marx (1890), novelist Graham Greene (1904), glove-fitting enthusiast Johnnie Cochran (1937), DKNY founder Donna Karan (1948), singer-songwriter Sting (1951), and talk show host Kelly Ripa (1970).

On this day in history...

In 1187, Saladin captured Jerusalem, ending an 88 year period of Crusader rule of the city.

In 1528, William Tyndale, noted English reformer who translated the Bible into English (for which he was executed as a heretic), published The Obedience of a Christian Man, which is credited with giving Henry VIII the rationale to break with the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1789, George Washington sent the proposed Constitutional amendments - the Bill of Rights - to the states for ratification.

In 1950, Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz was published for the first time.

In 1959, The Twilight Zone first premiered on CBS.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 2. Probably nothing will change later. Have a safe Monday.