The Orioles quest to avoid being 60 games back in the American League East has achieved a temporary positive following on the heels of Wednesday’s 2-1 win over the Blue Jays. In addition, the Red Sox were beaten by the Yankees, and so the teams are separated by a mere 59 games in the standings. It is a good bet that the Red Sox will win more than the Orioles the rest of the way.
Wednesday’s win also guarantees that the Orioles will not finish with a worse record than the 2003 Tigers, so the recent O’s victories have officially kept them out of the record books for being the worst that either MLB overall or just the AL has ever seen. They are still bad, though, as I am sure you are well aware - now on pace for 47 wins, if you round to the nearest whole number.
Check out Tyler Young’s recap of the 44th win of the season, and don’t forget to vote in the Most Birdland Player poll.
If you are not going to see the Orioles again this season, it’s looking more and more like you have already seen the last game that Adam Jones is going to play in an O’s uniform. The next couple of rebuilding years do not necessarily have to exclude Jones, but because the O’s are the O’s, it seems they’ve made it clear that he won’t be returning. The tenure of the 21st century’s greatest Oriole will soon be over.
This was always the hard one that I didn’t want to have to reckon with. The O’s tried their best to keep the group together, perhaps foolishly sticking to the “I like our guys” plan to the point that our guys started getting old and/or bad at baseball. We are dealing with that reckoning now. At 44-108, there has been a lot of reckoning and more is still to come in subsequent seasons.
On an emotional level, though, more Jones was not bad. More Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop was not bad, more Zach Britton, and even more Chris Davis and Darren O’Day. It felt good to have these guys until the team started losing. That’s not worth anything in the standings, but it’s not nothing either. This era has been fun and it wouldn’t have happened without them.
That’s especially true for Jones. His contract extension was one of the early markers in the 2012 season that something special might be happening here, and it was. He was among the best players on the team every year from the 2012-16 stretch of quality teams. It wouldn’t have happened without him. He was the face of the team, a representative for the city and its residents, and really just all around the best.
I already saw him for my last time, assuming something doesn’t change leading to his return later. On Monday when no one was there, my girlfriend and I got to get close to the field. The game sucked, as many games have sucked this year, but it was nice to be so close in a place so quiet where you could yell, “You’re the man, Adam!” and he might just hear you. He is the man, and when he’s gone he’ll be missed a lot.
Around the blogO’sphere
Adam Jones on final home games (School of Roch)
Jones says he won’t get sentimental about his last few games, but I’ll be getting sentimental enough for both of us.
Whether fielding stars or no-name guys, the Orioles have managed to lose (Baltimore Sun)
One of the still-hard-to-believe things about this year’s team is how bad they were when they still hadn’t traded anybody.
Despite uncertainty, Showalter soldiers on (Baltimore Baseball)
He didn’t use the exact phrase, but Bubbles’s “It’s a thin line ‘tween heaven and here” line seems to be the gist of what’s on Buck’s mind.
Orioles prospects: Three up, three down (Minor League Ball)
Our pals over at SB Nation’s Minor League Ball take a look at a few guys up and a few guys down this year. It’s good if you’re Cedric Mullins. Not so good for Hunter Harvey.
After loss no. 108, is there anywhere fans can find hope? (Steve Melewski)
Hope may be out there... just probably not for next year.
What do you say to the losingest Orioles team in history? ‘You gotta have heart’ (Baltimore Sun)
The Sun’s editorial board took some time out from opining on the real problems facing Baltimore to quote Damn Yankees regarding the Orioles. It’s a good song.
Birthdays and anniversaries
In 1958, Orioles knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm tossed a no-hitter against the Yankees. The O’s won the game, 1-0, with Herc from The Wire’s favorite Oriole, catcher Gus Triandos, hitting a solo homer for the lone run.
In 1998, Cal Ripken took himself out of the lineup, sitting for a game against the Yankees, and so ended The Streak at 2,632 consecutive games.
There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2014 infielder Steve Lombardozzi, 1990 outfielder Dave Gallagher, and 1972 pitcher Roric Harrison.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Union general John F. Reynolds (1820), novelist Upton Sinclair (1878), actress Sophia Loren (1934), occasional novelist George R.R. Martin (1948), and singer-songwriter Phillip Phillip (1990).
On this day in history...
In 1187, Saladin’s forces began the Siege of Jerusalem, which they would capture within two weeks. This prompted the Third Crusade two years later, and other crusades on after that.
In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition to circumnavigate the globe got underway from Sanlucar de Barrameda.
In 1870, the unification of Italy was completed when the Berasiglieri corps entered Rome.
In 1973, Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs played the Battle of the Sexes tennis match in the old Astrodome in Houston. King was victorious.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 20 - or at least, unless something happens later, which it probably won’t unless the Orioles suddenly decide today is the day to fire everyone for some reason. Have a safe Thursday.