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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Manny vs. Schoop showdown begins

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The NLCS starts tonight, and there’s room for only one of these two BFFs in the World Series. And in O’s news, the departed Dan Duquette threw shade at the Orioles’ coaches.

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Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Few things in Birdland were more delightful in recent years than the bromance between Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, best friends who came up through the minors together, played on winning Orioles teams together, and were seemingly inseparable on and off the field.

Theirs is a friendship that has launched a thousand articles (in Baltimore Magazine and PressBoxOnline, to name two) and videos (like this fun MASN feature). It’s spawned a Manny and Schoop double bobblehead celebrating their famous handshake. When the Orioles traded Machado in July, Schoop left his own vacation to drive three hours to Manny’s house and say goodbye. One of the saddest parts of the Orioles’ 2018 rebuild, as necessary as it may have been, was sending the two BFFs their separate ways.

But tonight, three months after each was traded away from Baltimore, Manny and Schoop will be sharing the field again, albeit in separate dugouts. And they’ll be facing off for the right to represent the National League in the World Series.

Maybe it’s not totally accurate to say it’s a showdown between Machado and Schoop. After all, while Manny has played a prominent role for the Dodgers — cementing himself as the club’s everyday shortstop and cleanup hitter — Schoop has sadly been reduced to a spare part for the Brewers. He didn’t start any games of the Division Series, making two pinch-hitting appearances. He might not start at all in the NLCS, either.

Still, it’ll be fun to see the two friends reunite. Let’s hope they can find time to enjoy themselves, even as they compete head-to-head in one of the most important series either of them has ever played. May the best ex-Oriole win.

Links

Rosenthal: Dispute on how the Orioles used analytics rages on in light of Manny Machado’s improved defense with L.A. – The Athletic
If you’re in the mood to read another story about how dysfunctional the Orioles have been in recent years, here you go! Don’t miss the Dan Duquette quote where he basically says the Orioles’ on-field staff was so behind the times that players’ agents were calling to complain.

Duquette’s public criticism of Showalter not a good look - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff certainly didn’t miss that Duquette quote. Here, he lambastes Duquette for apparently throwing his former manager and coaching staff under the bus.

New hire will want to know commitment to Davis beyond salary - School of Roch
Whoever gets the job as the Orioles’ new GM will have one heck of a dilemma on their hands: what do you do with Chris Davis?

After strong 2018, Paul Fry may be fixture in the bullpen - Steve Melewski
#TeamPaul

Orioles Prospects of Year: Mullins, Lowther - MLB.com
MLB Pipeline named its Orioles prospects of the year, and they’re the same players the O’s awarded with their minor league awards (minus Keegan Akin, who co-won Pitcher of the Year with Lowther).

Orioles birthdays

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have a litany of Orioles birthday buddies, including Nolan “The Gazelle” Reimold (35), who spent all but one of his eight big league seasons in Baltimore from 2009-16. Ah, what might have been if not for all the injuries. It’s also the 36th birthday for 2015-17 infielder Paul Janish — which one Camden Chat commenter surely already knew — and the 29th for 2016-17 catcher Francisco Pena.

Fun fact: there were three times in 2016 that all three of these birthday buddies started in the same game for the Orioles, including June 11, when they batted back-to-back-to-back in the lineup. What are the odds of three consecutive batters in a lineup having the same birthday? No, seriously, I’m asking you. I don’t know how to figure that out.

Your other O’s birthday buddies are the late catcher Ray Murray (b. 1917, d. 2003), a member of the inaugural 1954 Orioles; 1994-95 lefty Sid Fernandez (56); and 2000 righty Leslie Brea (44), whom the O’s acquired in the 2000 fire sale, thinking he was three years younger than he actually was. The Syd Thrift era in a nutshell, folks.

This date in Orioles history

Boy, has Oct. 12 been a crappy day in Orioles postseason history. On this date in 1969, they lost to the Mets in Game 2 of the World Series, the first of four straight Mets wins to take the championship. In 1971, the O’s dropped Game 3 of the Series to the Pirates. In 1996, they fell to the Yankees in Game 4 of the ALCS. The following year, they again lost Game 4 of the ALCS, this time to the Indians (after blowing an early three-run lead). And in 2012, the Birds were eliminated by the Yankees in the decisive Game 5 of the ALDS, when Nate McLouth’s long drive may or may not have hit the foul pole.

The O’s do have a couple wins on Oct. 12 in their playoff history — an 8-4 victory over the Pirates in the 1979 World Series, Game 3, and a 4-1 win against the Phillies in Game 2 of the ‘83 Series — but overall, the Birds are 2-5 on this day.