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Wednesday’s Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles have picked a new GM

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The O’s are going to try and replicate the Astros success, the MASN war may be ending, and you can fly right to Sarasota now!

Milwaukee Brewers v Houston Astros Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Nothing is official. and you shouldn’t believe any rumors until you see an introductory press conference. BUT the talk is that the Orioles are going to name Houston Astros assistant GM Mike Elias as the team’s new general manager sometime soon. Also, Sig Mejdal, a former member of the Astros front office, is expected to be a part of Elias’s staff.

Throughout the nightmare that was 2018, many people invoked the Astros name when speculating the route that the Orioles could take back to success. The Astros were terrible for several years at the big league level, and now they look like a perennial powerhouse for at least another couple of seasons and already have a World Series title under their belt.

The Orioles in 2018 were worse the Astros ever were during their rebuild. The big difference is that the Orioles expected to be competitive whereas the Astros knew they would struggle. Also, Houston was beefing up its minor league system all the while. Baltimore, well, has tried to do that, but there is little evidence that has actually happened yet.

Elias, if he is hired, has a big job in front of him, Additionally, Elias is unlikely to jump all the way to the president’s job from assistant GM. All reports indicate he would be the GM in Baltimore. So, what happened to the proposed hierarchy? Is there still a president in the works? It seems odd to hire the GM first and then the president, but these are the Orioles after all.

There are still plenty of unanswered questions, but the potential hire of Elias feels like a good start.

Links

Astros’ Mike Elias Reportedly The Favorite To Be Named Orioles’ GM - MLB Trade Rumors
Houston has a beast of a roster, and they farm system remains strong. There doesn’t seem to be a better organization to replicate, except let’s not sign any Roberto Osuna types, OK?

Allegiant air to add flights between BWI and Sarasota - Baltimore Sun
That’s cool. Now could we see just a few less “Visit Sarasota” commercials during the MASN broadcasts? That would be great.

In the Orioles’ new front office, the team’s rebuilding philosophy takes precedent over who they hire - The Athletic
The Angelos family has final say no matter what. Perhaps the brothers will take a more hands off approach and allow baseball people to control the baseball decisions. Again, it’s a “see it to believe it” situation.

The Nationals-Orioles MASN dispute could finally end this week - The Washington Post
The first sentence of this one gave me a big old belly laugh: “The Washington Nationals have operated without the television revenue they think they deserve for so long, they are inured to the relative hardship.” Please accept my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time, Mr. Lerner.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday!

The only former Oriole born today is Curt Schilling. The right-handed pitcher was acquired by the O’s, along with Brady Anderson, in a swap with the Red Sox during the 1988 season that sent Mike Boddicker to Boston. Schilling pitched in 44 games between 1988 and 1990 in Baltimore and accumulated a 4.54 ERA before being traded away in ‘91 to the Astros as part of a package that landed Glenn Davis with the O’s. Let’s just say that deal didn’t work out for the Birds.

1973 - Jim Palmer wins his first Cy Young award. He finished the season with a league-best 2.40 ERA and added in 22 wins and 158 strikeouts over 296.1 innings.

2005 - Orioles vice president Mike Flanagan announces that the team will not be re-signing Sammy Sosa or Rafael Palmeiro. Sosa would miss the entire 2006 season but then played 115 games for the ‘07 Texas Rangers. Palmeiro is yet to return to affiliated baseball.