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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are making some coaching changes

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The Orioles made a little news even in the middle of the postseason, with some reported coaching changes incoming.

MLB: AUG 05 Marlins at Orioles Game 1
Pitching coach Doug Brocail is one of two Orioles coaches who won’t be back next season.
Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

If you figured that the Orioles were going to get through the playoffs without making any kind of headlines, you were wrong, just like me. MASN’s Roch Kubatko reported on Wednesday night that third base coach Jose Flores and pitching coach Doug Brocail will not be returning to the Orioles in 2021.

Coaches are one of those things where whether they’re truly doing a good job or not is opaque to fans. You can only get a vague feeling based on what certain results are and making your own guess about how responsible the coach is for contributing to that outcome positively or negatively.

In the case of the 2020 Orioles, the baserunning seemed to be pretty bad. That often involved poor decisions of players going either from second to third base or from third base to home. This was frustrating to watch on a regular basis. Maybe that was Flores’s fault that it wasn’t better and that’s why he’s going to be out. Maybe there was another reason relating to job performance, or maybe it had nothing to do with performance at all.

There seemed to be a bit more positive going on in Brocail’s area of expertise. While the Orioles had a number of poor pitchers this year, most of the poor ones were ones from whom little could be expected. Some other pitchers seemed to progress, especially in the second half of the season. They seem to think they can find someone better for the next phase of whatever. As fans, all we can do is hope they’re right.

The baseball playoffs continue today with little interest in Orioles coaching decisions. There will be fewer games today than there were yesterday since the Twins and Blue Jays both played two games, lost two games, and are out of the dance. The Yankees were winning when I went to sleep last night, much to my chagrin. NL teams that lost yesterday, including former Oriole Manny Machado’s Padres, will be on the same brink today.

The earliest game gets under way at noon Eastern, where the Braves with Nick Markakis and Darren O’Day will try to beat the Reds to advance. Maybe the teams will combine for more than one run today. Games are also scheduled for 2, 3, 5, and 10.

Around the blogO’sphere

Phillips outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk (School of Roch)
Walking 10 batters in 14.1 innings is not a great way to have the team think you are going to be part of the future. Evan Phillips has been bounced from the 40-man to clear room for guys who’ll have to be protected from the next Rule 5 draft.

Five young Orioles debuted in 2020. What does the future hold for Ryan Mountcastle, Dean Kremer, and the rest? (Baltimore Sun)
The more of these guys are worth still having around in two more years, the better the chances that the team two years from now will be able to do something interesting.

Sisco and Stewart face an uncertain future with the Orioles (Baltimore Baseball)
The next wave of players is hopefully coming, and that could start to push aside guys in the last wave who haven’t quite lived up to hopes before now.

Sizing up the Orioles offense (Steve Melewski)
The Orioles had a better offense in 2020 compared to 2019, not that this helped them much in the last few weeks of the season.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1997, the Orioles beat the Mariners in Game 1 of the ALDS, with Mike Mussina winning the duel against fellow future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. Another future HOFer, Cal Ripken Jr., had three hits in the 9-3 victory.

One current Oriole has a birthday today. Happy 26th birthday to Cedric Mullins! Also born today were 2011 three-gamer Mitch Atkins, and 1956-60 outfielder Bob Boyd.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Boeing founder William Boeing (1881), actor Walter Matthau (1920), President Jimmy Carter (1924), actor Julie Andrews (1935), baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew (1945), funny man Zach Galifianakis (1969), and actor Brie Larson (1989).

On this day in history...

In 331 BC, Alexander the Great’s Macedonians triumphed over the Persians under Darius III in the Battle of Gaugamela. In the battle’s aftermath, Alexander took control of Babylon and a lot of Mesopotamia.

In 1940 AD, the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened to traffic. It’s regarded as the first superhighway in the United States.

In 1964, Japan’s “Shinkansen” (bullet trains) first went into service with a route between Tokyo and Osaka.

In 1971, Walt Disney World opened.

In 1975, Muhammed Ali beat Joe Frazier in The Thrilla in Manila.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 1. Have a safe Thursday.