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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Hanser Alberto’s birthday edition

The Orioles lost the World Series on this day in 1971 and 1979. There are better anniversaries.

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MLB: Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 161 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2020. One baseball game awaits our attention tonight, as the Astros and Yankees play a rain-postponed Game 4 of the ALCS. There are at most 11 MLB games remaining before we descend into the offseason. Hopefully the Astros give us a reason to enjoy those games. The action starts at 8:08 on Fox Sports 1. Zack Greinke and Masahiro Tanaka are the scheduled starters.

It remains to be seen whether the rainout yesterday will have a big impact on the outcome of the series. There are those who think that the off day happening on Wednesday instead will advantage the Astros by giving them more of a chance to have Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole affect the later games of the series. They might be right. And the NL champions are probably hoping these two teams have a knock-down, drag-out seven-game set.

If you’re really hard up for baseball, there is still the Arizona Fall League, whose season will be going through next Friday. The two Orioles starting pitching prospects who’ve been seeing action for the Surprise Saguaros continue to have some nice results.

Dean Kremer, part of the Manny Machado trade, has struck out 17 batters in 14 innings, with a 1.29 ERA over five outings. Alex Wells has 12 strikeouts in 11.2 innings, posting an even better 0.77 ERA. Does it mean much? Eh, who knows. But it’s nice that these guys have done well out there so far. Less interesting stats to report about position players like Mason McCoy and Rylan Bannon, though McCoy’s brand of “no power but still an impressive OBP” hasn’t scraped its ceiling yet out in Arizona.

Around the blogO’sphere

Can Kline contribute in 2020? (School of Roch)
I had hopes that Branden Kline might be one of the bright spots of the 2019 team. Reality was less kind. Roch quotes a scout talking about Kline’s “lack of deception” and how he “doesn’t take full advantage of his height.” Maybe the team can work on that next year.

Orioles don’t need to extend Trey Mancini, but they should (Baltimore Baseball)
I don’t agree with the opinion, but I might take it a lot more seriously if it wasn’t supported with thoughts like “it would serve as somewhat of a reward for the fans who attended games in 2019.” No. You know what would serve as a reward? The Orioles winning again.

The Nationals are headed for the World Series. Here’s how the Orioles could mirror their turnaround. (Baltimore Sun)
One more article for the “Jon Meoli is the best Orioles beat writer” pile. Draft well, hit on the international market, then sign the right free agents. It doesn’t sound so hard when you put it that way.

Which of these players has the most potential? (Steve Melewski)
Steve wants to know how you rate the upside of this list of players: Hanser Alberto, Austin Hays, Rio Ruiz, Anthony Santander, and Dwight Smith Jr.

‘Every bad break in the world went against us.’ 50 years later, what was it like to lose to the Miracle Mets? (The Athletic)
The first quote in this article is from Boog Powell, who says, “If a frog wore six-guns, snakes wouldn’t fuck with it.” That’s a strong start.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1971 and 1979, the Orioles lost Game 7 of the World Series to the Pirates. I wasn’t even alive for these and I don’t want to think about them.

One current Oriole has a birthday today. Happy 27th to Hanser Alberto, one of the few pleasant surprises for the 2019 O’s.

A few former Orioles were also born today: 1984-87 pitcher Ken Dixon, 1985-86 reserve infielder Kelly Paris, and 1975 four-gamer Jim Hutto.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: author Nathanael West (1903), actress Rita Hayworth (1918), stunt rider Evel Knievel (1938), author Robert Jordan (1948), actor/comedian George Wendt (1948), actor/comedian Norm Macdonald (1959), animator Mike Judge (1962), and rapper Wyclef Jean (1969).

On this day in history...

In 1660, nine people who presided over the trial and execution of England’s King Charles I were executed by being hanged, drawn, and quartered, with the monarchy having been restored under Charles’s son, Charles II.

In 1777, the British Army at Saratoga, New York, surrendered to the Americans, a victory credited by historians with inspiring the French to join the war effort.

In 1814, a 22-foot tall wooden vat of fermenting beer burst open in London, leading to the London Beer Flood, where somewhere between 150,000 and 400,000 gallons of beer washed over nearby streets in a wave up to 15 feet high. Eight people died.

In 1931, gangster Al Capone was convicted on charges of tax evasion. He was eventually sentenced to eleven years of federal prison, of which he served nearly eight.

In 1989, the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake struck at 5:04 local time in Northern California, with the effects seen during the live broadcast of the World Series between the Athletics and Giants. 63 people were killed by the quake’s effects, with economic damage estimated at $11-12 billion in today’s dollars.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 17 - or at least, unless something happens later, which it probably won’t, but you never know. Have a safe Thursday.