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Monday Bird Droppings: Thinking back on the good part of the 2010s for the Orioles

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The Orioles were bad at the start of the 2010s and bad at the end of them, but there were, at least, some fun times in between.

New York Yankees v Washington Nationals - Game One
I miss these guys.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 94 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2020. With two days to go until Christmas and only nine days until we hit 2020, time is flying by, so to speak, though the Orioles themselves aren’t doing much to make it feel that way. Still, before the week is out, we’ll be at three months until the next real O’s game. Just don’t think about who’s going to be in the starting lineup.

Other teams are out there employing the radical strategy of attempting to improve themselves at the MLB level for next season. The White Sox, who won all of 72 games last season, have made a couple of big signings in Yasmani Grandal and now Dallas Keuchel.

It’s easier for them to make a leap, since they’re in a crummy division with multiple 100+ loss teams (Tigers and Royals), where the usual champion Indians are cheaping out on contending and the recent champion Twins are probably due to step back. The Orioles do not have such an opportunity, since the Yankees remain the Yankees and the Red Sox will be back to being the Red Sox by the time the Orioles think they might be good again.

Maybe those signings will turn out to be total busts. Goodness knows that the Orioles attempts to spend money on free agents in the Dan Duquette era did not turn out very well. But sometimes the probability of another 100 loss season bums me out and I wonder when it will be our turn to have our favorite baseball team play well again.

Around the blogO’sphere

Who are the top Orioles of the 2010s? (Orioles.com)
The first link to this article that I clicked when rounding up Bird Droppings stories last night gave me an, “Oops, this page can’t be found!” error. Harsh, I thought, but fair. But of course we know the Orioles were good for a while in there, and the best of them were Manny Machado and Adam Jones.

Trying to set the roster in December (School of Roch)
Like an eclipse, you should not look at this with the naked eye, except it’s kind of the exact opposite.

The Orioles spent a year building their analytics department. Now they’re putting those tools to use. (Baltimore Sun)
I know better to think that this will make very much of a difference in the quality of the 2020 season, which is likely to have “FUBAR for Kumar!” as the rallying cry for Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker at #1 in the 2021 draft. Yet sometimes even I want to believe.

In September burst, Austin Hays showed a strong skill set (Steve Melewski)
And speaking of things I really want to believe in for the 2020 Orioles, one of them is that Austin Hays will be good and healthy for a full season.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

One lone former Oriole was born on this day: Dave May, a reserve outfielder for the 1967-70 Orioles, though he was traded during that ‘70 championship season. He died in 2012.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Song dynasty emperor Zhen Zong (968), least famous Federalist Papers writer John Jay (1745), Latter Day Saints founder Joseph Smith (1805), voice actor Harry Shearer (1943), Super Bowl-losing Harbaugh brother Jim Harbaugh (1963), and Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard (2002, yes, you’re old and we’re all going to die).

On this day in history...

In 1783, in front of the Maryland State House in Annapolis, George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

In 1815, Jane Austen’s Emma was first published.

In 1968, 82 sailors from the USS Pueblo, who had been interned in North Korea for about eleven months, were released.

In 1986, the Voyager aircraft, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager (apparently not related to Chuck) landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California. This was a noteworthy flight because the two piloted their craft around the entirety of the world without refueling either in air or on ground. The flight took 216 hours. No, really.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 23, unless something weird happens and there’s news later on. I will stay vigilant so you don’t have to.