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Monday Bird Droppings: Where we’ll find out if John Means will win the ROY

Last week, John Means was announced as a Rookie of the Year finalist. Tonight, we’ll find out if he wins.

Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 136 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2020. The next few days will have some vaguely baseball-related activity, as the BBWAA awards are handed out through Thursday. That starts tonight, when we’ll find out where in the top 3 John Means placed for AL Rookie of the Year. If he wins, he’ll be the first Orioles ROY since Gregg Olson in 1989. Don’t expect him to win, though.

Things haven’t picked up yet with signings and trades, with some teams either still looking for managers or GMs or only just having made those decisions, but we are in hot stove season. Teams can sign just about anyone now. The ten qualifying offer free agents do have another three days to choose whether to accept or decline a one-year, $17.8 million contract for 2020.

This week will see the GM meetings take place in Phoenix. It’s noteworthy for the Orioles if only because they didn’t have a GM during last year’s meetings and this year they do. Unlike the winter meetings in December, the November meetings aren’t usually a hotbed of activity.

That will doubly be the case for the Orioles, since where they are in the rebuilding project means that signing significant free agents isn’t part of the plan. You never know when a trade could spring up. Mike Elias will presumably lower his asking price on Villar now that there’s only one full season left before Villar is a free agent.

Just because nobody met the price for Villar (or Trey Mancini, or Dylan Bundy, or Mychal Givens) in July doesn’t mean that nobody will between now and February. All it will take is a phone call or a text for things to start popping. But those calls and texts probably won’t be happening this week, even if the GMs are meeting.

Around the blogO’sphere

Elias on Rule 5 considerations, Cobb, and more (School of Roch)
GM Mike Elias thinks that the expansion of the roster to 26 next year will make it easier for the team to carry a Rule 5 player all year. Of course, that will be true for other teams as well.

Tough to predict which Orioles will stay around for the rebuild (Baltimore Baseball)
Rich Dubroff notes that seven of the 46 players on the 2010 Orioles played in the majors in 2019. That’s a higher number than I would have guessed.

Five takeaways from the Orioles’ top 10 prospect rankings at Baseball America (Baltimore Sun)
The Baltimore Sun’s Jon Meoli has some thoughts about the top 10 Orioles prospects article that was written about by Baseball America’s Jon Meoli.

Orioles top 10 2020 prospects chat with Jon Meoli (Baseball America)
Still more thoughts from Meoli on the rankings. The BA top prospect lists are not free, but this chat transcript is.

Bonus from the BA Twitter:

I think at most five of these players will be in the 2023 Orioles lineup, and if we’re lucky, the team that fields the lineup with those players will be good.

So how long will this rebuilding take? (Steve Melewski)
It’s a question to which everyone wants to know the answer, and what’s really crummy about the question is that even an optimistic answer is still depressing at this point.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1970, Boog Powell was named the American League Most Valuable Player. Boog, the runner up the previous year, topped Minnesota’s Tony Oliva and Harmon Killebrew with a season where Powell batted .297/.412/.549, cracking 35 home runs with 114 runs batted in.

In 1982, Joe Altobelli was hired as the Orioles manager to replace the (temporarily, as it turned out,) retired legend Earl Weaver.

In 2014, Buck Showalter was named American League Manager of the Year after the O’s won 96 games and waltzed to a division title.

There are a pair of former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2007 reserve J.R. House, and 1963 seven-game pitcher Ike Delock. Today is Delock’s 90th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821), World War II general George S. Patton (1885), baseball Hall of Famer Rabbit Maranville (1891), novelist Kurt Vonnegut (1922), actress Demi Moore (1962), and actor Leonardo DiCaprio (1974).

On this day in history...

In 1831, Nat Turner was hanged after having led a two-day uprising of about 70 slaves in Virginia earlier in the year. Turner’s rebels killed 55-65 people.

In 1864, during the Civil War, Union General Sherman set fire to the captured city of Atlanta, the first step in his coming scorched earth march to the sea campaign.

In 1918, the armistice that ended what we now know as World War I was signed between Germany and the Allies in a railway car in Compiegne, France. Baltimore-born Henry Gunther was the last soldier killed, one minute before the armistice took effect at 11am. Gunther had recently been demoted and is believed to have been trying to regain his reputation by charging the German lines alone.

In 1940, during World War II, the British Navy launched an airborne attack against the Italian Navy while it was anchored in the Battle of Taranto. The battle, a British victory, was the first time in history a ship-to-ship conflict was settled by aircraft.

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, the US military launched Operation Commando Hunt, a bombing campaign aimed at disrupting North Vietnamese supply routes that ran through neighboring Laos. Over about three and a half years, American and South Vietnamese aircraft dropped over three million tons of bombs on Laos, yet never meaningfully disrupted supplies running along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on this Veterans Day. To all who have served in the armed forces of America, thank you. Have a safe Monday.