There are six games left in the 2019 Orioles season and none of them will be played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. They closed out their home schedule on Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 win over the Mariners, and if you haven’t heard yet, Chris Davis hit a solo home run to provide the margin of victory. Check out my recap for the lovely totals.
Davis delivering the go-ahead home run was one of those ready-made good stories provided by the baseball gods. There’s no sugar-coating how horrible he’s been for the past couple of seasons or how much of a disaster his big contract has been. For some time now, it has seemed to be clear that there is no improvement coming. In a world where the only criteria is his performance, this would be his last home run hit in Baltimore.
If that’s the outcome you’re rooting for, either because you’ve seen enough of Davis and his sub-.600 OPS or because you want to clear away playing time for first base and designated hitter, you’re not alone. However, GM Mike Elias is not answering questions in a way that suggests his actual belief is that they’re going to get rid of Davis and he’s just being nice by not saying it. You may want to start steeling yourself for another spring of “What’s happening with Chris Davis?” stories coming out of Sarasota.
Davis’s homer gave the Orioles their 51st victory of the year, so they’re already four games ahead of what they managed last season even if they lose the last six in a row. Hopefully they don’t! More wins would be fun. The Orioles are probably locked in to the #2 pick, as they’re four back of the Marlins in the loss column, and the Tigers, who have the #1 pick, are four back of the Orioles. Maybe they can give us a reason to feel good headed into the winter.
The biggest story remaining over this last road trip might be whether the Orioles can manage to stay below 300 home runs allowed for the year. They will probably not. They have given up 294. Less than one home run per game for a week would be very unlike them. If they are particularly horrible, they could end up cracking 1000 runs allowed, as they’re at 953 so far. We know that they have it in them to be that bad.
Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 247 days ago. The Orioles have not announced any plans to retire his jersey number or add his statue to Legends Plaza at Camden Yards.
Around the blogO’sphere
Elias on 2019 season and looking ahead (School of Roch)
One reason why I like Mike Elias is that, instead of pretending that things are better than they are, he says stuff like, “I can’t ask anyone to embrace losing the way we have been” and “There’s a long way to go, a lot to be done.” Don’t get your hopes up for next year either!
Davis savors game-winning home run in final home game of 2019 (Baltimore Baseball)
Davis sounds confident that this wasn’t his last home run as an Oriole.
B.J. Surhoff on Orioles front office: ‘I just don’t like how they’re treating people’ (The Athletic)
If you didn’t see it over the weekend, there are still some sour grapes from the people who aren’t keeping their jobs as Elias moves forward with his Orioles improvement plan.
Former Ravens WR Torrey Smith returns to Camden Yards to Hometown Hero welcome from Orioles (Baltimore Sun)
The Orioles recognized Smith on Sunday for his local charitable efforts. It’s nice when the two Baltimore teams recognize one another.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 2013, Manny Machado stepped a little funny on first base and had to get knee surgery. Worse still, the Orioles eventually lost this game with a walkoff pinch hit homer by James Loney. It was their fifth straight loss, a losing streak that effectively ended their postseason hopes.
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1998 outfielder Willie Greene, 1988-90 pitcher Pete Harnisch, and 1967/69-70 pitcher Marcelino Lopez.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Mongolian conqueror Kublai Khan (1215), actor Mickey Rooney (1920), jazz/bebop legend John Coltrane (1926), rock legend Bruce Springsteen (1949), and folk rock musician Ani DiFranco (1970).
On this day in history...
In 1459, the Yorkists and Lancastrians fought one another in the Battle of Blore Heath, the first major battle of the Wars of the Roses. The Yorkists, rebelling against Henry VI, were victorious under the command of the Earl of Salisbury.
In 1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition made its way back to St. Louis after a two-year exploration of the northern reaches of the Louisiana territory purchased from France, as well as what we call the Pacific Northwest today.
In 1889, Nintendo was founded. At that time, they made a playing card game called Hanafuda (“flower cards”).
In 1905, Norway and Sweden agreed to the Karlsbad Treaty, which upon approval would dissolve the union between the two countries.
In 1980, Bob Marley played a concert in Pittsburgh that turned out to be the last concert of his life, as he died the next May.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 23 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Blue Jays. Have a safe Monday. Go O’s!