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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles might make it official today

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The Orioles have settled on their pick for a new GM and unless things get weird they will make that official soon, perhaps even today. Also, it’s Dylan Bunday’s birthday.

MLB: Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 133 days remaining until the next Orioles game. This could prove to be quite a momentous day for the future of the franchise if they make official their rumored choice of Astros assistant general manager Mike Elias to take over the reins of baseball operations.

That a new vision was needed after a 47-115 record from the MLB squad combined with a farm system that, by one recent ranking, was 28th of the 30 organizations in the league, is obvious. That the Orioles have managed to lure someone who was seasoned first in the Cardinals front office, leading up to the team winning the 2011 World Series, and second in the Astros front office, leading up to a 2017 title, is something that might almost make you feel excited about where the team will be headed.

The 2019 season is still going to mostly suck at the big league level. There’s not much that can be done to change that. Even if Elias and his new hires put the #1 best analytics department in baseball together by the end of the month, that’s not going to bear enough fruit immediately to bring the Orioles anywhere close to good baseball.

Though being behind with analytics was one of the team’s problems, that also wasn’t the difference between the roster the Orioles had around in August and September being .500 or better and the awful record they actually compiled. They need better players.

Better analytics might accurately tell them who the better players are, and they might help the Orioles see some of their returning players improve as well, but it’s going to take time, a whole lot of precious time, to have sufficient talent to where contention can be in the cards again.

Around the blogO’sphere

More on Mike Elias’ expected hiring by Orioles (School of Roch)
Let’s all be thankful that the reported early favorite Ned Colletti did not get the job.

Initial thoughts on Mike Elias as the Orioles’ new top executive (The Athletic)
Dan Connolly wanted a top executive who has experience as a GM or president of baseball operations already. I’m glad they didn’t listen to him when making the choice.

The Orioles will just lose with or without Manny Machado (NBC Sports)
I think U2 sang about something like this in The Joshua Tree.

Hal Steinbrenner on Manny Machado’s ‘Johnny Hustle’ comments: ‘That ain’t going to sell’ (Baltimore Sun)
For that hopefully small audience of people who care what one of the sons of George Steinbrenner has to say about Manny Machado, here you go.

Birthdays and anniversaries

In 1983, Cal Ripken Jr. was awarded the AL Most Valuable Player award for the first time. In the process, he became the first player to ever win the Rookie of the Year award and the MVP in back-to-back seasons.

One current Oriole has a birthday today: Happy 26th birthday to Dylan Bundy. There are also a pair of former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2002 pitcher John Stephens, and 2004 short-timer Darwin Cubillan.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Simpsons debate topic William Pitt the Elder (1708), American modernist pioneer Georgia O’Keeffe (1887), singer-songwriter Petula Clark (1932), wrestler “The Macho Man” Randy Savage (1952), rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard (1968), and actress Shailene Woodley (1991).

On this day in history...

In 1777, the Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation.

In 1806, while exploring territory included in the Louisiana Purchase, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike caught site of a mountain peak in what is today the state of Colorado. The peak still bears his name.

In 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman began his march to the sea, which you may recall from history class if you were paying attention.

In 1939, the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial was set down by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The memorial was not dedicated until 1943.

**

And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 15 - or at least, unless something happens later, which I really hope it does, because if the Orioles go two full days between Elias’s name getting out into the public with no official announcement, I’m going to start worrying about something weird and bad happening. Have a safe Thursday.