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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Where we are hoping the ALCS & NLCS aren’t sweeps

Are we headed for a Rays vs. Braves matchup in the World Series? Maybe, but it would be nice to watch a few more games first.

MLB: NLCS-Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Birdland,

It feels like the ALCS and NLCS just started, and yet they could nearly be finished already. In the American League, the Rays have taken a commanding 3-0 lead of the Astros, who have really struggled at the plate. On the senior circuit, the Braves are up 2-0 on the Dodgers, who may have to go without ace Clayton Kershaw.

It’s unlikely that many baseball fans will shed a tear for Houston’s deficit. And it feels like the Dodgers make a deep postseason run every year, so it wouldn’t be a tragedy to see another club in the Fall Classic.

That said, it would be a bit of a bummer for both matchups to go out with a whimper. The Championship Series round of the playoffs tends to make for some of the best baseball all year long. That hasn’t been the case so far in 2020.

But it ain’t over until it’s over.

Links & Notes

Latest On Orioles’ Coaching Search - MLB Trade Rumors
It’s all relative, but assistant major league coaches do not get paid enough to significantly change an organization’s financial footing. So, it is odd that so much of the dialogue around the dismissals of Jose Flores and Doug Brocail has focused on the Orioles saving money. It just doesn’t make much sense.

After superb finish, O’s knew they had their ace back - Steve Melewski
The fears of a sophomore slump for a guy like John Means were real. He was not a lauded prospect, and seemingly emerged from nowhere to be the club’s best hurler in 2019. While he did have his struggles this past season, it’s fair to point out the injury issues and difficult off-field situations that he had to handle as well. He’s poised to pitch on Opening Day for these O’s in 2021.

Orioles’ top prospect Adley Rutschman growing in unique environment: ‘We’re making the most out of it’ - Baltimore Sun
There hasn’t been a ton of information to come out of the O’s alternative site from the summer or their current fall instructional league, but everything we have heard has been positive. Not to mention, you can’t argue with the results of the players that spent time at both Bowie and Baltimore this year. Cedric Mullins, Dean Kremer, D.J. Stewart and others. They all seemed better after a stint in the altered minors.

Orioles birthday

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Former outfielder Midre Cummings turns 49 today. He finished up his 11-year MLB career with a two-game stint on the 2005 O’s.

Carl Nichols celebrates his 58th birthday. The catcher appeared in 36 games for the Orioles across three seasons from 1986 through 1988.

Kiko Garcia, a former O’s infielder, will turn 67. He spent 1976 through 1980 with the Orioles, during which time he hit .232/.278/.317 while playing solid defense.

Happy 80th birthday to the multi-faceted Tommy Harper. He played 15 seasons of big league baseball, and spent significant time at six different positions. Harper concluded his career with 46 games on the 1976 O’s.

Orioles history

1969 - The O’s drop Game 3 of the World Series 5-0 to the New York Mets, and they now trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

1971 - In Game 5 of the World Series, the Orioles lose 4-0 to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a two-hit shutout. The Pirates now have a 3-2 advantage in the series.

2014 - In another close one, the Orioles lose 2-1 to the Kansas City Royals in Game 3 of the ALCS. The O’s now trail the Royals 3-0 in the series.