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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the offseason is finally here

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That's it. There's no new baseball until late March. Soon, offseason things can start happening. Today's O's stuff: Mountcastle leads the way, the O's can sit out the QO process, and more.

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 146 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2018, and there is no real baseball to divert our attention for the rest of those days. The offseason is here in all of its cold fury. Let's hope that the O's front office finds a way to field a much better team next season.

The World Series really did its best to forestall the beginning of the offseason. The Astros and Dodgers took that darn thing down to seven games and, other than a short first game, they made sure to prolong every game as long as it could possibly be prolonged.

It’s all over now and the Astros are champions, and along with that, the Sports Illustrated jinx has suffered a dramatic counter-example. You may recall that an SI cover article three years ago predicted the Astros would win the World Series this year. Well... here we are. That’s a heck of a prediction.

With the Astros winning the World Series this year, the Orioles now have the eighth-longest championship drought in MLB. Ahead of them are five teams that have never won a title: the Rangers, the Brewers, the Padres, the Nationals, and the Mariners. Also ahead of the O’s are the Indians, who last won in 1948, and the Pirates, who last won, well, you know. But the O’s have won more recently than them, so take that, Pittsburgh!

Now for the offseason’s first true edition of the links.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles can sit out the qualifying offer process (School of Roch)
When all of your pending free agents ranged from bad to extremely bad, there are no tough decisions to make come qualifying offer time.

A radical realignment plan for MLB (Steve Melewski)
The realignment plan tossed out by Baseball America last month is the gift that keeps on giving. Here, Melewski gets around to giving his thoughts about it.

Orioles organizational depth report: Mountcastle, Reyes top the corner infield (Baltimore Sun)
Considering Ryan Mountcastle may not stick at third base and Jomar Reyes’s star has dimmed greatly, the depth report is, uh, not great.

O's Mountcastle finds Fall League rhythm (MLB.com)
But Mountcastle homered in Arizona while Buck Showalter was in the stands. That’s pretty cool!

Prep volleyball: Orioles triumph in regional finals (Iowa City Press-Citizen)
The Orioles of Springville High School in Springville, Iowa, won their regional final in Iowa Class 1A competition, so they keep moving on towards a possible state title. Congratulations to them!

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2012-13 infielder/DH Wilson Betemit, judge puncher and drunk driver Sidney Ponson, 1990-92 slugger Sam Horn, and 1980 six-gamer Paul Hartzell.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: frontier folk hero Daniel Boone (1734), too-little too-late cake-sharer Marie Antoinette (1755), 11th President James K. Polk (1795), 29th President Warren G. Harding (1865), early jazz trumpeter Bunny Berigan (1908), actor Burt Lancaster (1913), singer-songwriter k.d. lang (1961), and rapper Nelly (1974).

On this day in history...

In 1889, North Dakota and South Dakota were admitted as the 39th and 40th United States.

In 1917, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, concerning the creation of a Jewish state in what was then British Palestine. The region still feels the effects of this declaration today.

In 1963, South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem was assassinated after a military coup. Two years later, Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker, set himself on fire in front of the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in the Vietnam War. Two years after that, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his "Wise Men" decided that the American people needed to be given more optimistic reports of the war.

In 1983, President Reagan signed the bill that created Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on November 2 - or at least, unless something happens later. Hey, the season is over, so you never know! But probably not, because free agency hasn't started yet. Have a safe Thursday.