Good morning, Birdland!
The Orioles weren’t kidding about this rebuild, were they? Few of the team’s moves are going to grab the headlines on ESPN or MLB Network, but it seems like they are making some sort of minor change just about every day. The latest is the signing of a minor league hitting coach, which you can read about in the first link down below.
This is likely a reaction to all of the blood rushing to my head as a result of the Orioles acting like a modern baseball organization, but everything the team does (at the moment) feels like the right move. Name Mike Elias as GM? Genius. Add a former NASA employee as his number? Brilliant. Fill 80 percent of the 40-man roster with infielders? Obviously!
All of these good feelings will, in time, subside. We will all get frustrated once someone like Drew Jackson, who will have one good game and be anointed an MVP-in-waiting by a subset of the fanbase, doesn’t get enough playing time. The Orioles won’t “win” every trade they make. And yes, even this regime will miss out on international players. But for now, everything is great. Life at the bottom is easy. The only direction we can go is up.
Productive JUCO Coach Hired By Orioles - Baseball America
Well, this is pretty cool! Tom Eller, the now former head coach at Harford Community College, has accepted a new job as a hitting coach in the Orioles organization. His teams have had a reputation for hitting tons of home runs and working loads of walks. A coach with experience teaching young hitters patience at the plate sounds like a perfect person to have regularly working with your minor leaguers.
No bench coach? O’s taking dynamic approach - MLB.com
The Orioles won’t have anyone on the payroll with the title “bench coach,” but all of the responsibilities normally given to the person normally in that role will be filled by the rest of the staff one way or another.
Orioles general manager...selected to national list of executives to watch - Baltimore Business Journal
On the latest episode of “Everybody Loves Mike”...
Team groundskeeper Nicole Sherry, Eldersburg resident, earns award - Carroll County Times
In case you needed another reminder that the people that take care of Camden Yards are the best in the business, here it is.
Richard Bleier thinks he’ll be ready for Opening Day - Baltimore Baseball
The idea of letting the young guys get as many big league innings as possible sounds great, but steady veterans remain necessary, especially in the most volatile unit of any team, the bullpen.
Orioles birthdays and history
There is a trio of birthday celebrations for former Orioles players. First up is 65-year-old Joe Kerrigan, a right-handed pitcher in town for 27 games between the 1978 and 1980 seasons. Next up is the late Walt Dropo (b. 1923, d. 2010), a first baseman with the O’s in a total of 155 games from 1959 through 1961.
But the big birthday shout out goes to 76-year-old Davey Johnson. The former infielder won two World Series and three Gold Gloves and was named to three All-Star teams during his time as a player with the O’s from 1965 until 1972. He returned to the team in 1996 to be their manager, leading them to two playoff berths (one wild card, one AL East crown) during his two seasons in charge, and even won the AL Manager of the Year Award in 1997. His time with the club came to an end after that ‘97 season due to multiple disagreements with owner Peter Angelos.
2003 - Cal Ripken Jr. is voted into the Orioles team Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He would not be formally inducted until September 6.