There are now 174 days remaining until the next Orioles game. This also happens to be the first day of the post-Buck Showalter era for the Orioles, what with yesterday’s news that Showalter and the O’s would be parting ways now that his contract has run out. It also is the first day of the post-Dan Duquette era, since the team announced on Wednesday night that Duquette would not return next year.
Just like that, two more links to the winning 2012-16 teams has been severed. The man who managed those teams that continually exceeded everyone in the wider baseball media world’s expectations is gone. The man who built those teams out of the perpetual 90+ loss dreck that came before him is gone. If you want to get technical, they will be gone at the end of the month when their contracts run out.
Those who follow after will be hard-pressed to assemble a team as good as or better than the 2014 AL East winners from the parts available. Hopefully whoever comes next can get some better parts in the draft, in trades, on the international market. Maybe that person can even sign a free agent who lives up to what the O’s claim they are.
It was time to move on, but it’s still sad that it was time to move on. When we all look back on the Buck and Dan tenure 10 or 20 years from now, I think we will remember the era fondly. This has been the Buck Showalter era of the O’s and they made the postseason three times in five years in the middle of that. Buck was a part of it. Dan was a part of it. The players who were here we are part of it. They were great, but it’s over now.
The fact that the Orioles struck so relatively quickly in making these decisions just a handful of days into the offseason is a bit unexpected. They are not known for moving decisively at the ownership level. The team said in a press release yesterday that the next person - he or she - to lead the baseball operations department will come from outside the organization and will have the final say on all decisions to improve the team on the field.
It’s the right thing to say, but we’ll see if the candidates come away believing them. It’s been a while now since the chaotic series of rejections that led to the O’s having to settle for Duquette back before he was hired. Maybe nothing has changed with how the Angelos family wants to do things. Maybe everything has changed. Let’s hope for the latter.
Whether there’s more O’s news today or not, the playoffs move on. Both National League Division Series matchups get under way this evening. The Rockies and Brewers are up starting at 5:07 on Fox Sports 1. Later, it’s the Braves and Dodgers at 8:37 on MLB Network.
Around the blogO’sphere
Orioles announce departures of Duquette and Showalter (School of Roch)
With some reactions from Showalter and Duquette themselves.
A brief timeline of Buck Showalter’s managerial career (Baltimore Sun)
Buck has been at this for a long time. Baltimore was only his latest successful stop.
Orioles will be in full force to watch Victor Victor Mesa’s showcase in Miami (The Athletic)
One wonders how these plans have changed now that the boss who assigned these guys to go watch the Mesas has been let go. Can interim GM Brian Graham have the authority to make a signing if the O’s like what they see?
Don’t remember Buck Showalter for Orioles season to forget (ESPN)
I wasn’t planning to do it, but thanks for the reminder!
DL Hall is No. 1 prospect in South Atlantic League (Steve Melewski)
Baseball America deemed the O’s first round pick from last year to be the best prospect in his league. That’s kind of exciting, although the league is a long way from MLB.
O’s draft picks on display at instructs (MLB.com)
There are nice things about Cadyn Grenier in this article. How much success at instructs matters is another story, of course.
Birthdays and anniversaries
In 1969, the Orioles beat the Twins, 4-3, in the first ever American League Championship Series game. Prior to that, there were no divisions and the winner of the league was just the regular season champion. The Orioles also won ALCS games on this date in 1971 and 1979.
In 1993, the sale of the Orioles to the ownership group led by Peter Angelos was approved.
In 2001, the Orioles deployed both Tim Raines Sr. and Tim Raines Jr. in the same outfield, making them the second father-son duo to ever play in the same game, after the Ken Griffeys.
In 2016, Zach Britton did not pitch.
A few former Orioles have birthdays today. They are: 2017 swingman Alec Asher, 2016 late-season addition Drew Stubbs, 1992-94 infielder Mark McLemore, 1974-75 pitcher Dave Johnson (not that one), and the late Don Lenhardt of the inaugural 1954 Orioles.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: 19th president Rutherford B. Hayes (1822), author Anne Rice (1941), Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa (1944), Def Jam founder Russell Simmons (1957), actress Alicia Silverstone (1976), actress Rachel Leigh Cook (1979), and actress Dakota Johnson (1989).
On this day in history...
In 1363, the month-long Battle of Lake Poyang between forces of warring Chinese rebels Zhu Yuanzhang and Chen Youliang concluded. Zhu was victorious in one of the largest naval battles in history, eventually setting up the downfall of the Yuan dynasty and the rise of the Ming dynasty under Zhu, or as he was later known, the Hongwu Emperor.
In 1853, the Ottoman Empire declared war on the Russian Empire, thus beginning the Crimean War.
In 1927, Mr. Gutzon Borglum began the sculpting of Mount Rushmore. The project took about 14 years and had to be completed by Borglum’s son Lincoln as the elder Borglum passed away months before it was all done. Originally, the presidents were going to be depicted from head to waist.
In 1957, Sputnik 1 became the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth. As a result, America threw more effort into its own space program and began the Space Race.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 4 - or at least, unless something happens later, which now that the O’s have started making decisions, it might. Have a safe Thursday.