There are now 176 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2018. Tonight’s American League wild card game between the Yankees and the Twins will get us through one of those days. For the rest, we will have to find something else.
Owing to the great injustice inflicted upon the baseball universe and against the Orioles and my younger self in particular 21 years ago when the Yankees were given a home run they did not actually earn, having benefited from the interference of Jeffrey Maier and the incompetence of Rich Garcia, I will not ever root for any Yankees success.
That ancient grievance understood, this year's Yankees are weirdly likable in spite of all of the inherent Yankee-ness of the franchise. There are fun young players doing fun and great things.
In some ways, I hate them all the more for that. Here is the team I have loathed for decades, and they sold off last year without ever having a losing record, and on top of that, here they are right back in the playoffs! I hope they lose tonight. I trust the playoffs can survive without Aaron Judge.
But enough about that. Let's return to the depressing topic in front of us, the just-concluded 2017 Orioles season.
Around the blogO’sphere
What went wrong in 2017 - School of Roch
I don't want to give anything away, but I think the MLB-worst starting rotation might be at the top of the list.
Key questions the Orioles face as the offseason begins - Steve Melewski
Question number one: How will the Orioles fix a broken rotation? How, indeed.
Orioles led by Mancini, Bundy breakouts in '17 | MLB.com
You can always count on a positive headline from orioles.com - perhaps moreso than even MASN.
The players who defined 2017 (Fangraphs)
Zach Britton gets a mention here, although it’s unfortunately under the category of “elite pitcher injuries.”
What was the Orioles record against the teams that made the playoffs? (Baltimore Sun)
The Orioles may have competed in some form for a lot of the season, but by its end they were 23-42 against the playoff teams. I think it’s safe to say they were much, much worse than actual good teams.
With small margin for error, Orioles focus on getting back to winning ways in 2018 (Baltimore Sun)
They might have wanted to try this strategy some time in 2017 before now, too.
Birthdays and anniversaries
In 2014, the Orioles beat the Tigers in the Delmon Young Double Game to take a 2-0 lead in the ALDS.
There are two former Orioles with birthdays today. They are 2013 one-gamer Mike Belfiore and 1997 swingman Mike Johnson.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Ides of March co-conspirator Gaius Cassius Longinus (85 BC), the patron saint of Lithuania, Saint Casimir (1458 AD), writer Gore Vidal (1925), singer-songwriter Chubby Checker (1941), baseball Hall of Famers Dave Winfield (1951) and Dennis Eckersley (1954), singer-songwriter Gwen Stefani (1969), and actress Alicia Vikander (1988).
On this day in history...
In 42 BC, the decisive battle of the Roman Wars of the Second Triumvirate was fought. In the Battle of Philippi, Marc Antony and Octavian defeated Caesar’s assassins, Brutus and Cassius (the same mentioned above). Cassius, believing the battle lost, committed suicide with the same dagger that stabbed Caesar.
In 1789 AD, George Washington designated the first Thanksgiving Day in the US. This continued until 1863, when President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to mark Thanksgiving.
In 1849, Edgar Allan Poe was seen in public for the last time before his death, having been found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore.
In 1990, German reunification took place as the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) cased to exist.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 3. That probably won’t change later because what would happen to the O’s during a playoffs they aren’t a part of? Let’s hope we don’t find out. Have a safe Tuesday.