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Sunday Bird Droppings: Where the 2019 Orioles have one week left

Mountcastle is hopeful, Surhoff is salty, and more in today’s Bird Droppings

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Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Happy Sunday, Camden Chatters. Today is the final home game of the 2019 season for the Orioles, and after last night’s late-night loss to the Mariners, they will go without a sweep yet again. They still have two more chances to keep from going sweep-less for the first time in O’s history with road series against the Blue Jays and Red Sox to end the season. All three teams are eliminated, so nothing to spoil.

Have you been paying attention to the playoff race? With just about one week of baseball remaining, most of the postseason slots are all but locked up. The A.L. East has been won by the New York Yankees, who currently have 101 wins. Over in the west, the Houston Astros have clinched a playoff spot and can claim their division today with a win or an Oakland loss.

Things are bit closer in the A.L. Central, where the Minnesota Twins have a comfortable four-game lead over the Cleveland Indians. The two teams don’t play again so things would have to go very sideways for the Twins to keep them from winning the division. They do have a shot at the second wild card spot, just one game behind the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays themselves are two games behind the wild card leader Oakland A’s.

Over in the National League, two divisions are already settled. The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the West last week at Camden Yards and the Atlanta Braves got the East title a few days ago. Nick Markakis is going back to the playoffs! In the Central, the Cardinals have a three-game lead over the Brewers. The Brew Crew are just one game back of the Washington Nationals for that first wild card slot, with the Cubs three games behind them.

It doesn’t look like there will be many races going down the wire this year, which is a shame. That’s one of my favorite parts of baseball. Anyway, you’re here for Orioles news.


Orioles surrender run on infield hit in 13th and lose 7-6 (updated) - School of Roch
Roch squeezes a lot of different stuff into this post, but if you're here for the Hyde quotes like me, scroll to the bottom.

Just in case, Orioles fans might want to bid Chris Davis a fond farewell this weekend |
I am going to the game today and a few days ago it crossed my mind that it might be the last time I ever see Chris Davis (if he even plays, the opposing starter is a lefty). Davis gave us a lot of good memories, but I still have trouble imagining the crowd giving him a reaction like they gave, say, J.J. Hardy in 2017. There's just too much baggage.

Orioles Minor League Player of the Year Ryan Mountcastle ‘ready when the opportunity comes’ - Baltimore Sun
Mountcastle was at Camden Yards yesterday being honored for winning the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year award. Maybe next year he'll add Most Valuable Oriole to his collection.

B.J. Surhoff on Orioles front office: ‘I just don’t like how they’re treating people’ – The Athletic ($)
Dan Connolly says, "The perception of Elias’ personnel housecleaning in the past month is that he was purging employees who weren’t equipped to handle or implement the new technology and theories and would be replacing them with those who could." He doesn't say whose perception that is. My perception is that when a new boss comes in to clean up a dysfunctional organization, everything must go. I feel bad for Surhoff for losing a job he loved, but that's just business.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have so many birthday buddies, most of whom you’ve never heard of. They are:

  • Luis Ortiz, who came to the Orioles last year in the Jonathan Schoop trade. Ortiz has made three unmemorable appearances with the Orioles over the last two seasons. Today is his 24th birthday.
  • Luis García, who appeared in six games for the 2002 Orioles, his only major league appearances. García turns 44 today.
  • César Devarez, who is celebrating the big 5-0 today. Devarez was a catcher who got into 16 games for the 1995-96 Orioles.
  • P.J. Forbes, a utility infielder for the 1998 Orioles. He was in just nine games for the Orioles that year. Today he is 52 years old.
  • John Stefero, who is celebrating birthday number 60. Stefaro saw action behind the plate for the 1983 and 1986 Birds, 61 games in all.
  • Bob Harrison was a pitcher for the 1955-56 Orioles, getting just one game in each of those years. A very happy birthday to Mr. Harrison, who is celebrating 89 years today.

On this day in 1966, the Orioles clinched the American League pennant with a victory over the Kansas City Athletics. It was the first pennant since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954. They, of course, went on to win the World Series.

In 2012, the playoff bound Orioles beat the Red Sox in extra innings, their 16th consecutive extra innings win. That’s still incredible to me.