There are now 171 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2020. For today, at least, there are four playoff baseball games to get us through, starting with Astros-Rays at 1:05, running through to Yankees-Twins with an 8:30 Eastern scheduled start time. This will be the last day of the year with four MLB games.
It’s desperate times today for several of the postseason teams with ex-Orioles holding down spots. The Twins, who’ve got Nelson Cruz and Jonathan Schoop, are on the brink of being swept yet again by the Yankees in the postseason. Players change but that dominance continues. The Rays could also be swept, although you’re probably less concerned about whether Chaz Roe and Oliver Drake get to advance in the postseason.
Over in the National League, the Cardinals, who are the 2019 employer of Matt Wieters and Andrew Miller, face elimination after a top of the ninth inning meltdown yesterday. The Nationals could also see their season end today, since they fell into a 2-1 series hole yesterday when they gave up seven runs in the sixth inning. It remains bizarre to me that former Oriole Gerardo Parra has contributed to that team and has fans excitedly miming a shark’s chomping for his every plate appearance.
Astros-Rays will air on MLB Network at 1:05. Cardinals-Braves, scheduled to start at 3:07, will air on TBS, as will the scheduled 6:40 start for Dodgers-Nationals. The night ends with Yankees-Twins at 8:40 on Fox Sports 1.
Elsewhere in the world of professional baseball, the Arizona Fall League teams are all off today. Things have been going great so far with some of the Orioles prospects out on the Surprise Saguaros, with infielder Mason McCoy sporting a .300/.417/.400 batting line over eight games and pitching prospect Dean Kremer posting a 2.00 ERA and 0.78 WHIP over three outings. With a 1.17 ERA in his 7.2 innings to date, Alex Wells isn’t looking bad either.
These are small sample sizes and it’s not worth getting too excited over them, but it’s better to see them doing well than it would be to see them doing poorly and having to rationalize why they’re going to do better against better competition than this. The league’s action runs through October 25, so they will have some more chances to show their stuff.
Around the blogO’sphere
‘A terrific teammate’: Ex-Orioles catcher Andy Etchebarren, member of ‘66 and ‘70 championship teams, dies at 76 (Baltimore Sun)
If you missed the news over the weekend, Birdland has lost one of the parts of its most legendary era.
Remembering two seasons spent working with Andy Etchebarren (Steve Melewski)
One Orioles beat writer has some memories of the time he was the radio broadcaster for an affiliate while Etchebarren was the manager.
Sunday Notes: Chris Holt on Orioles pitchers’ offseason work (Fangraphs)
Among the standard Fangraphs notes on Sunday is an item from the O’s minor league pitching coordinator. The short version: Let anybody go to Driveline if they want to.
Is Mallee a candidate to join Orioles? (School of Roch)
Roch wonders if recent Phillies hitting coach John Mallee, whose professional career has also intersected with Brandon Hyde and Mike Elias, could be one of the replacements for the coaches who weren’t brought back.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
One current Oriole has a birthday today. Happy 32nd birthday to Alex Cobb. Things haven’t worked out here for him so far. Maybe next year will be better.
Today is also the birthday of a couple of former Orioles. John O’Donoghue threw 16 games of relief for the 1968 Orioles, and the late Grady Hatton played 27 games of middle infield for the 1956 O’s.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: physicist Niels Bohr (1885), musician John Mellencamp (1951), cellist Yo-Yo Ma (1955), and Maryland-born singer-songwriter Toni Braxton (1967).
On this day in history...
In 1777, during the Revolutionary War, an American army defeated General Burgoyne’s British at the Battle of Bemis Heights, eventually leading to Burgoyne’s surrender and the beginning of French aid in the fight for American independence.
In 1919, the airline KLM began operating in the Netherlands. This flag carrier of that country is the oldest existing airline still operating under its original name.
In 1940, Navy Lt. Commander Arthur McCollum wrote a memo in which he outlined an “Eight-Action Plan” to contain the rising power of Japan in East Asia. The memo was later used at the core of a conspiracy theory that FDR had both provoked and allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor to bring the USA into World War II.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 7 - or at least, unless something happens later, which it probably won’t, but you never really know. Have a safe Monday.