There are now 178 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2020. The good thing about that is that if you are, for some reason, already missing O’s baseball, the next real game is less than six months away. For the next month or so, there will at least be playoff baseball to distract us, if you can summon up the interest in non-O’s baseball. However, there won’t be any of that today, as MLB teams managed to dodge any scenarios requiring a Game 163 tiebreaker.
If you weren’t watching yesterday, you missed the Orioles heroic effort to close out the season with the kind of loss that was symbolic of their whole season. They lost to the Red Sox, 5-4, with the game-ending run scoring when a runner on first base scored on a single to right field. How does that even happen? The 2019 Orioles, that’s how. Check out my recap for one last set of not-so-lovely totals.
One way the Orioles loss yesterday was not at all representative of their whole season is that they did not add to their record-breaking 305 home runs allowed. They did try their darndest to give up another one, but then Stevie Wilkerson did this:
At the buzzer, we have a catch of the year candidate. pic.twitter.com/oj9zt2tZjF— MLB (@MLB) September 29, 2019
The loss put the cap on the 2019 season with a 54-108 record. That seems about right for those jokers, doesn’t it? They lost exactly twice as many games as they won. That’s still seven games better than last year’s losers, which is a nice improvement, although they could improve by another seven games next year and still have over 100 losses. That’s not so good.
It does not figure to be an eventful offseason for the Orioles, at least not in terms of big, marquee moves that address present weaknesses on the roster. GM Mike Elias will probably be busy nonetheless, continuing to oversee a variety of hires in scouting and player development as the team tries to get itself into baseball’s present and future trends in a way Dan Duquette never did (and maybe never even really tried to).
Elias will probably have his share of trade discussions over the offseason as well, though it’s not likely we’ll hear much about those. His regime has been around for long enough to be clear that they can stay radio silent as far as media is concerned when they want to. A trade of someone like Jonathan Villar or Trey Mancini could come together seemingly out of nowhere once the rest of baseball hits the offseason.
Do you think that either of those players have played their last games as an Oriole? What about Dylan Bundy, or Mychal Givens? Those are the guys who might have a little trade value, maybe. As far as last games go, there’s going to be the question hanging over Chris Davis of when will be the end unless he ever improves. Mark Trumbo, whose contract is now up, has almost surely played his last game here. Thanks for all those 2016 dingers.
There will probably also be a whole lot of roster turnover among that group of players of whom Orioles fans have not had much occasion to form a positive impression.
Around the blogO’sphere
“What’s going to happen with Brady Anderson?” has been one of those questions on O’s fans minds since the Elias hire. It seemed to me that they were just waiting for a moment when he could exit gracefully, and lo and behold, now that the season is over:
Brady Anderson won't be back with #orioles next season. Told he's stepping aside with all the new people in the organization and the changes. O's are altering performance/strength and conditioning structure. Will make new hires over the winter.— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) September 29, 2019
This is Elias’s organization now, and although I watched a whole heck of a lot of bad baseball this season, I remain excited for what the future holds.
Driven by data, O’s farm arms make huge strides (Orioles.com)
Stories like this are a huge reason why we can all look forward to better times.
Orioles offense showed incremental improvement in 2019; hitting coach Don Long’s breakdown of team’s progress (The Athletic)
Last year’s Orioles had the worst OBP in the American League. This year’s Orioles improved to 12th. Progress!
Hays no longer ticketed for Arizona Fall League (School of Roch)
Getting a September callup and batting .309/.373/.574 is one way to prove that you don’t need a little extra AFL seasoning.
Trey Mancini reiterates that he wants to be part of rebuild: ‘I’ve never wavered on that’ (Baltimore Sun)
Though it may not be a very realistic hope, I would like it if Mancini can be a part of the next good Orioles team.
Dylan Bundy is beating the long ball (Fangraphs)
After how he pitched last year, Dylan Bundy’s 2019 season was a big improvement in one key way: He gave up a lot fewer dingers even as his teammates gave up so many more of them.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1989, the postseason hopes of the “Why Not?” season came to an end with a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays, who clinched the AL East with the win in game #161. The O’s blew a 3-1 8th inning lead in the game and finished the season two games back.
Several former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 2017 outfielder Seth Smith, 1995 outfielder Curtis Goodwin, 2002 reliever Yorkis Perez, 1995 two-gamer John DeSilva, and the late Robin Roberts, baseball Hall of Famer and 1962-65 Orioles starter.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: poet Rumi (1207), chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. (1861), physicist Hans Geiger (1882), writer Truman Capote (1924), author Elie Wiesel (1928), actress Jenna Elfman (1971), rapper T-Pain (1985), and dancer/actress Maddie Ziegler (2002).
On this day in history...
In 1520, the Ottoman Empire rule of Suleiman the Magnificent began. His reign of almost 46 years was the longest anyone reigned to the end of the empire.
In 1888, Jack the Ripper struck twice, killing his third and fourth of his five so-called “canonical” victims.
In 1938, the Munich Agreement was signed between Germany, Italy, France, and Britain, which accepted that Germany would annex the bordering Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia.
In 1949, the last official flight of the Berlin Airlift landed. Over the previous 15 months, there were 278,228 flights that carried supplies to Berlin, delivering a total of over 2.3 million tons of cargo.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 30 - or at least, unless something happens later, which it probably won’t, but you never know. Have a safe Monday.