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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Yankees could be eliminated tonight

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The Orioles aren’t in the playoffs, but soon enough, their much-despised AL East rival may not be, either.

MLB: ALCS-Houston Astros at New York Yankees Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

As the old saying goes in Birdland, we’ve got two favorite teams: the Orioles, and whoever’s playing the Yankees.

The former isn’t involved in the 2019 postseason, but the latter is, and it’s the Astros, who have built a comfortable three games to one lead over New York in the ALCS.

Game 5 of the series is tonight in the Bronx, and Houston could finish the Yankees’ season right here and now. The Astros have one of their many aces, Justin Verlander, taking the hill against James Paxton.

Watching the Yankees lose, of course, is no replacement for watching a successful Orioles team. It’s hard to taunt, “Haha, you losers!” to a team that finished 49 games ahead of the O’s in the standings this season and went 17-2 against them in the season series. Birds fans would kill for their club to be even remotely as successful as the Yanks. I get it.

Still, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take some delight in seeing the Yankees stumble over their own feet for the last three games. I particularly enjoyed the eighth inning last night, in which three different Yankees infielders committed misplays on three consecutive plays as the Astros padded their lead.

Tonight, they can deliver the finishing blow. And the Yankees will experience the World Series the same way the Orioles will: by watching it from their couches.

Links

Is Wojciechowski a lock for 2020 rotation? - School of Roch
These are the kinds of questions we’re pondering for the 2020 Orioles. Are you excited yet?

Cedric Mullins’ season included slow start, fast finish - Steve Melewski
Cedric Mullins has fallen behind, like, 10 other outfielders on the Orioles' depth chart. But as Steve Melewski points out, Mullins’ hot finish in the minors offers a sliver of hope that his career isn’t dead yet.

Orioles Should Offer Intriguing Outfield Mix In 2020 - PressBoxOnline.com
Speaking of the Orioles’ outfield, Matt Kremnitzer discusses the Orioles’ candidates for 2020, and they’re not half bad. They’d be even better if Trey Mancini weren’t being forced to play out there because the O’s refuse to cut their losses on the Chris Davis mistake.

Orioles have fourth-longest World Series drought; Nationals' hot streak; Why replay works in MLB - BaltimoreBaseball.com
The O’s haven’t been to a World Series since I was younger than my daughter is now. Maybe they can get there by the time she graduates high school. (She’s 2, by the way.)

Orioles birthdays

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four O’s birthday buddies, including Alan Mills (53), who most recently was named Gulf Coast League Manager of the Year for leading the GCL Orioles to a league-best 38-15 record in 2019. Mills spent nine years pitching for the Orioles and posted a 4.16 ERA in 346 games, but was perhaps best known for clocking Darryl Strawberry in the O’s dugout during a benches-clearing fracas at Yankee Stadium.

Other Orioles born on this day were lefty Garrett Olson (36), righty Terry Clark (59), and right-hander Ed Farmer (70), who faced a grand total of two batters as an Oriole and retired neither of them, putting him in the club’s record books with an infinity ERA. He had a decent 11-year major league career elsewhere, though.