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Saturday Bird Droppings: Where the ALCS is getting all the drama

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The ALCS is coming down to a dramatic Game 7. The Orioles can watch on TV. In today’s links, Steve Wilkerson makes his roster case, Pat Connaughton keeps making it in the NBA, and more.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 158 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2018. There will be Game 7 of the ALCS tonight between the Yankees and the Astros and then there will be no more baseball until the World Series gets underway in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Things don’t get much more dramatic than coming down to the final game of a series. Anything can happen from here on. Perhaps the Astros will get to chase the first title in franchise history. Perhaps the Yankees will march on towards yet another championship - though hopefully not, especially since this series reminded me that Jeffrey Maier exists and is still happy when the Yankees win.

Justin Verlander pitched a heck of a game to get the Astros through Game 6. The guy is 9-0 in nine games since joining the Astros, including the postseason. Yeah, pitcher wins don’t tell us much, but everything else about Verlander shows how amazing he has been. There isn’t another Verlander waiting in Game 7. There isn’t a Dallas Keuchel, either. He pitched in Game 5.

Does this leave the Yankees at an advantage, with CC Sabathia lined up for this seventh game? I guess we’ll find out tonight when the series reaches its conclusion. This has been a good one. I wonder when the Orioles will ever be this good again.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles facing roster decision with Steve Wilkerson (School of Roch)
Wilkerson is batting .350 so far in the Arizona Fall League, so the possible utility infielder for next year’s Orioles team is certainly making his case to be added to the 40-man roster.

A look at the Orioles’ list of pending minor league free agents (Steve Melewski)
It may be that Steve Melewski is the only person who wonders about perpetual Bowie Baysox Garabez Rosa and whether Rosa might join a different organization as a free agent.

Orioles draftee Connaughton’s strong NBA opener, promise for more minutes, cloud baseball future (Baltimore Sun)
Unfortunately for the Orioles, Pat Connaughton continues to prove just good enough at basketball to hang around in the NBA.

Dusty Baker decision demonstrates why Nats are ‘joke’ of MLB (CBS DC)
Some choice excerpts of the transcript of a radio interview with DC sportswriter Thom Loverro include a random tidbit that the Nationals wanted to hire Cal Ripken to be the manager after Davey Johnson left. But mostly, LOL Nats.

Hunter Nowak aiding Morrice football in in strong bounce back season (Lansing State Journal)
The Orioles of Morrice High School in Morrice, Michigan, who are playing eight-man football, took a share of their conference. Nice work, Orioles.

Birthdays and anniversaries

One lone former Oriole has a birthday today: The late Valmy Thomas, who played in eight games for the 1960 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Ming dynasty emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (1328), dynamite inventor and Nobel Prize founder Alfred Nobel (1833), jazz trumpet legend Dizzy Gillespie (1917), baseball Hall of Famer Whitey Ford (1928), author Ursula K. Le Guin (1929), actress Carrie Fisher (1956), actor Ken Watanabe (1959), and famous for being famous person Kim Kardashian (1980).

On this day in history...

In 1520, Ferdinand Magellan discovered a strait connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This strait - the best passage between the oceans before the Panama Canal was built - still bears Magellan’s name.

In 1600, Tokugawa Ieyasu emerged victorious in the Battle of Sekigahara, marking the beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate era of Japanese history.

In 1805, Lord Nelson’s British fleet defeated a combined French/Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar. Despite being outnumbered, Nelson did not lose a single ship and captured 21 enemy ships, including the French admiral, Villanueve. Nelson took a wound in the battle and did not survive.

In 1879, Thomas Edison applied for a patent for his design for an incandescent light bulb.

In 1921, President Warren G. Harding became the first sitting president to issue a speech condemning lynching in the South.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 21 - or at least, unless something happens later. Probably not, because it’s the offseason, but you never really know. Have a safe Saturday.