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Saturday’s Bird Droppings: Where Birdland misses Earl Weaver

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In O’s news: Mullins is ready for a challenge, Susac is outrighted and Brocail is revered.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Morning, Birdland!

How much fun would it have been to see Earl Weaver manage a major league team in the modern game? The Orioles legend was ahead of his time in terms of in-game strategy and statistical analysis. And he was a character with unorthodox methods that would have made him an internet sensation today.

I bring this up because today is the sixth anniversary of Weaver’s passing. I know. Sorry to bum you out right away this weekend. On the bright side, it gives us a reason to remember Weaver, how great he was, his unique personality and the sort of success that was once common for the Orioles. Maybe similar days are ahead for the club. We can hope, although no one will ever fill the shoes of the Earl of Baltimore.

Links

Can Mike Wright and Joey Rickard do enough to stick with the O’s in 2019? - The Athletic
Mike Wright Jr. is under more immediate pressure than Joey Rickard. A major league bullpen is a constantly competitive portion of any roster. If the big wigs don’t like what they see in spring training, Wright’s time with the O’s will be up. Rickard, on the other hand, has an option and is a viable fourth outfielder that can buy some time for Yusniel Diaz, Ryan McKenna and others.

Mullins eager to seize opportunity with Orioles - MLB.com
Cedric Mullins needs to make his impact felt during the 2019 season. He’s a nice player. He has a lot of useful skills. But he is yet to prove that he is the unquestioned starter in center field beyond this season. Have to imagine his first full big league season will see every aspect of his game improve.

Orioles Outright Andrew Susac - MLB Trade Rumors
Good news for the Orioles, no so much for Andrew Susac. An organization always needs depth at catcher, especially one that now has just two inexperienced backstops on the 40-man roster.

Some props for Doug Brocail, expected to be O’s pitching coach - MASN Sports
Quotes galore about the O’s new pitching coach! It’s good to have others in the industry respect you. Will that translate to success in Baltimore? Who knows. Here’s to hoping.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday!

Southpaw Rick Krivda turns 49 today. The pitcher appeared in 45 games (mostly as a starter) for the O’s between 1995 and 1997 while compiling a 5.13 ERA over 207 innings of work.

Bespectacled infielder Chris Sabo celebrates his 57th birthday. The third basemen spent most of nine-season career with the Cincinnati Reds, but he did make a pit stop in Baltimore for 68 games during the 1994 season, hitting .256/.320/.465 with one home run during that time.

Finally, happy 84th birthday to outfielder Fred Valentine, a member of three different Orioles teams: 1959, 1963 and 1968. He played in just 85 games and hit .225/.312/.318 across his entire career with the Birds.

1995 - Peter Angelos, owner of the Orioles, announces his team will not use replacement players if the strike is not settled prior to Opening Day.

2013 - Earl Weaver, the Hall of Fame manager of the O’s from 1968 through 1982 and again from 1985 to 1986, passes away at the age of 82 during a cruise from Haiti to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

2017 - “Outfielder” Mark Trumbo re-signs with the Orioles on a three-year contract worth $37.5 million. The contract expires after the 2019 season.