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Friday Bird Droppings: Where it’s time to root against the Yankees

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I mean, it’s ALWAYS time to root against the Yankees. But especially tonight, as they begin postseason play.

MLB: OCT 07 ALDS Workout - Astros at Indians Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Have you been watching any of the MLB playoffs so far? There have been a few exciting contests out of the four games, including that NL Wild Card Game and the Braves/Cardinals NLDS Game 1 last night. Of course the playoffs would be far more exciting if the Orioles were involved in them, but alas, it doesn’t appear that will be happening anytime soon.

Whenever the O’s aren’t in the postseason, my next favorite team is whoever’s playing against the Yankees or Red Sox. This October, we don’t need to worry about the Sox, who self-destructed their way out of playoff contention, but the Bronx Bombers are in action starting tonight against the Twins at Yankee Stadium.

If the presence of Jonathan Schoop and Nelson Cruz weren’t already enough to root for the Twins, the possibility of their taking down the Yankees in the first round is a tantalizing idea. I’m not optimistic that it’ll actually happen, given the Yankees’ history of dominating the Twins in the postseason, but at least it gives us a reason to watch. Without the Orioles, this’ll have to do.

Links

Remake of Orioles’ coaching staff begins as Beyeler, Clark depart - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Four days into the Orioles’ offseason, there’s already some coaching turnover. What was your favorite Arnie Beyeler memory?

Looking ahead to shaping Orioles’ 2020 roster - Orioles.com
Joe Trezza runs down the important events, dates, and players to keep an eye on for the Orioles this offseason. I’m a little surprised he calls Cody Sedlock a “lock” to be added to the 40-man roster. It’s likely, but I think Sedlock has enough question marks that the O’s could risk exposing him to the Rule 5 draft.

Núñez made it easy to slot him as designated hitter in 2020 - School of Roch
As the old saying goes for rebuilding teams, “The most important position to fill is DH, and then everything else will fall into place.” ...What, that’s not a saying? Well, whatever the case, Renato Nunez seems to have that spot locked down.

Mom would be so proud: Orioles players send handwritten ‘Thank You’ notes to fans after 108-loss season – The Athletic
If you haven’t read this story yet, stop what you're doing and check it out. Get an Athletic subscription if you have to. It warms even my cold, cold heart. Have any Camden Chatters out there gotten one of these letters?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have five Orioles birthday buddies, including 1992-1994 utility man Mark McLemore (55), recent O’s Drew Stubbs (35) and Alec Asher (28), and Dave Johnson (71), who is neither former O’s manager Davey Johnson nor MASN analyst Dave Johnson. This one appeared in 17 games in 1974-75. Also born this day was original 1954 Oriole Don Lenhardt, who died in 2014 at age 91.

The Orioles have played seven postseason games on Oct. 4, winning the first four and losing the most recent three. Among the highlights: in 1969, in the first ever American League Championship Series game, the O’s pulled off a wild walkoff win over the Twins on Paul Blair’s squeeze bunt in the bottom of the 12th. The following year, the O’s again beat the Twins in the ALCS, this time in game two, with an 11-3 final that featured a seven-run ninth inning. And the Birds won game two of the ALCS the next year on the same date, besting Hall of Fame Catfish Hunter and the Athletics behind Mike Cuellar’s complete game. In 1979, the O’s beat the Angels in game two of the ALCS, nearly blowing a 9-1 lead but hanging on, 9-8.

As for the lowlights, the Orioles lost game three of the ALCS in both 1996 and 1997 (first to the Indians, then to the Mariners), though they won both series anyway. And on this date in 2016, the Orioles played the wild card game in Toronto. Funny, I have no memory of what happened in that game.

Some non-playoffs things have happened on this date, too. In 1993, AL owners approved Peter Angelos’ purchase of the Orioles by a unanimous vote. And on this day in 2001, in a regular season game, Tim Raines Sr. and Tim Raines Jr. were both in the starting lineup for the Orioles, joining the Ken Griffeys as the only father-son teammate duo in major league history.