There are now 177 days remaining until the next Orioles game. This will be long and possibly strange offseason. For the playoff teams, it’s not even the offseason yet, and there will at least be baseball to entertain us, including two different tiebreaker games to settle who wins the NL Central and West and who must then turn around and play in the wild card game.
The good news, such as it is, is that the most miserable Orioles season that anybody has ever seen is over. Adam Jones and Buck Showalter, if they were here for their last games, got as nice a send-off as could have been hoped for with a 4-0 victory in the season finale. Check out my recap of the game, and don’t forget to vote in a special version of the standard Most Birdland Player poll.
Many questions remain to be answered over those baseball-less days. The O’s don’t need to rush to make decisions on everything, but on the other hand, they don’t want to drag their feet either. They need to figure out who the GM is going to be to head into next season so that person can start to carry out a plan. The GM needs to figure out who the manager should be.
Will there be wholesale changes in personnel? They want to make hires before all of the good people get other jobs. On top of figuring out who makes the decisions, they need to figure out who is analyzing information to help the GM make good decisions. Are those people giving good information? Are they being listened to when they say smart things?
Hopefully they can at least start to get some idea about these things during the month that the better teams of baseball are playing the postseason. The reality is that it’s probably going to be pretty boring for the next few months.
In past years, we could hope that the Orioles would be signing impact free agents. Last year, we could wonder if the Orioles would get a jump-start on rebuilding by trading Manny Machado. This year, they probably should not sign any free agents who matter. There may not be any trades lined up that end up mattering. Their future success at this point could hinge more on developing players for 2019 and beyond, something that won’t happen from October through February.
Are you rooting for anybody in the National League’s tiebreaker games? There are former Orioles everywhere you look between the Rockies, Dodgers, Cubs, and Brewers. The NL Central tiebreaker gets underway at 1pm in Chicago, with the NL West action starting at 4pm in Los Angeles.
Around the blogO’sphere
Adam Jones: “Very appreciative and humbled that people care” (Steve Melewski)
Adam Jones is the best. That is all.
Orioles hit 40-year attendance low in wet, losing season (Baltimore Sun)
Not much of a mystery why the Orioles had 500,000 fewer fans show up to Camden Yards this season.
5 questions for O’s to answer in offseason (Orioles.com)
Not many surprises here.
On Jones’ final game, Showalter’s uncertain future (School of Roch)
“Do you want to do things that are sad?” Buck asked in response to a question he didn’t want to answer.
Sunday Notes: Buck Showalter: “Don’t get me started” (Fangraphs)
The O’s-related tidbit in the last Sunday notes column of the regular season sure doesn’t make it seem like Buck even particularly wants to come back here.
A season for the Birds - Inside the Orioles’ historically awful year (ESPN)
In which Caleb Joseph’s son lost all of his friends when the Orioles traded away Zach Britton, Jonathan Schoop, Darren O’Day, and Manny Machado, which is honestly a sadder thing than anything that happened on the field this year.
Birthdays and anniversaries
In 1997, the Orioles won the first game of the American League Division Series against the Mariners. Future Hall of Famer Mike Mussina (once 75% of the Hall of Fame voters get their heads out of their butts) outpitched future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson in the game.
One current Oriole has a birthday today. Happy 24th to Cedric Mullins! His presence over the last couple of months of the season was one of the few things to provide some shred of hope for the near future.
A pair of former Orioles have birthdays today: 2011 three-gamer Mitch Atkins, and the late Bob Boyd of the 1956-60 Orioles.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Boeing founder William Boeing (1881), actor Walter Matthau (1920), 39th president Jimmy Carter (1924), actress Julie Andrews (1935), baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew (1945), Dungeons and Dragons co-creator Dave Arneson (1947), funny man Zach Galifianakis (1969), and actress Brie Larson (1989).
On this day in history...
In 331 BC, Alexander the Great’s invading Macedonians defeated Darius III’s Persians decisively in the Battle of Gaugamela. This led to the fall of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, with Alexander adding Babylon and half of Persia to his territory.
In 1800 AD, Spain gave up the territory of Louisiana to France with the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso. France, as history recorded, later sold that territory to the United States.
In 1890, Congress established Yosemite National Park.
In 1946, the judgments were issued at Nuremberg for the Nazi war criminals. Twelve were sentenced to death for their roles in the Holocaust and other crimes during World War II.
In 1975, Muhammad Ali defeated Joe Frazier in their third and final meeting, a boxing match now known to sports lore as the Thrilla in Manila.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 1 - or at least, unless something happens later, which it probably won’t, because there’s still the postseason to get through. Have a safe Monday.