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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Jim Palmer’s 75th birthday edition

Happy birthday to Jim Palmer! He sits atop many franchise leaderboard categories and it’s hard to imagine that ever changing.

Baltimore Orioles v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 168 days remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game. Four months and one day from today, pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Sarasota. As you know from 2020, “scheduled” is a bit less of a formality than it has been in the past, so probably don’t get your hopes up too much.

For today at least, the playoffs continue, with the continuing postseason adventures of former Orioles Nick Markakis and Darren O’Day on the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS. I discovered on Tuesday night that O’Day, the prime home run catcher in the bullpen in Baltimore, has apparently ceded some ground in Atlanta to Mark Melancon. This does not have much to do with whether or not the Braves beat the Dodgers, obviously.

Things didn’t go so well for the Braves yesterday, as their Game 3 matchup with the Dodgers ended up with their being what I understand marginally cool people within a certain niche would refer to as riggity wrecked. When you’re losing 11-0 after one inning and 15-0 after three innings, that’s u-g-l-y you ain’t got no alibi. The final score was 15-3. These two teams will be playing until at least Friday.

The good news for them is it only counts as one loss and they still lead 2-1 in the series. The bad news for the Braves is that they don’t really have a regular starting pitcher for Game 4 or Game 5, so this could turn around the wrong way for them in a hurry. Game 4 is set to go off at 8:08 on Fox.

The American League Championship Series did not look like it was headed for a sweep when I went to sleep last night. Maybe we will both wake up to a surprise! If not, Game 5 of that series will be played today starting at 5:07 on TBS.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles lay off, furlough nearly 50 staff members as impact of coronavirus pandemic continues (Baltimore Sun)
None of the cuts are in baseball operations. Best of luck to all of these folks in being able to land on their feet. It’s tough out there.

Looking at three less-heralded pitchers in fall instructional league (School of Roch)
Roch picks out three guys you probably don’t know much about: Noah Denoyer, Luis Ortiz, and Hector Lopez Jr. No, not the Luis Ortiz you already know about.

Orioles face hard decisions on key players (Baltimore Baseball)
I wouldn’t call “keep Hanser Alberto” a very hard decision, but I’m also not in danger of ever being an MLB general manager. Renato Nunez is a bit more on the bubble for me. The first base/DH logjam has to be cleared somehow.

Here’s the 2021 MLB draft order (
MLB made it official this week that they’re just going to use 2020 standings for the 2021 draft order. The Orioles were not FUBAR enough for Kumar Rocker after all.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1970, the Orioles sealed their World Series victory over the Reds with a 9-3 victory in Game 5. This ended up being the only O’s championship under Earl Weaver. One way 1970 was different from 2020 is that Game 5 was the longest game of the series by time and it took two hours and 35 minutes to play.

The postseason was less fun on this date in 1969, 1997, and 2014.

Happy 75th birthday today to Orioles pitching and broadcasting legend Jim Palmer. It must have been fun to be able to see him pitch. Looking at his Baseball Reference page is amazing. Three Cy Youngs, four Gold Gloves, six years with more than 290 innings pitched, 211 complete games and 53 shutouts. Unless things change significantly, we won’t be seeing anything like that again.

It’s also the birthday of 2004 four-game catcher Chad Mottola, as well as reliever Cody Carroll, who pitched for the 2020 O’s but was chucked from the 40-man roster by season’s end. Carroll was outrighted and still technically in the organization, so I leave it up to you whether to consider him a current or former Oriole.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today beyond Cakes include: Roman poet Virgil (70 BC), Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov (1814 AD), British writer P.G. Wodehouse (1881), Italian novelist Italo Calvino (1923), actor Penny Marshall (1943), Jackson 5 member Tito Jackson (1953), chef Emeril Lagasse (1959), actor Dominic West (1969), and singer-songwriter Ginuwine (1970).

On this day in history...

In 1582, the Gregorian calendar was first enacted in much of Catholic Europe, eventually being adopted more universally.

In 1815, Napoleon arrived on the island of Saint Helena for his second, and final, exile.

In 1917, during World War I, Mata Hari was executed by France for espionage.

In 1956, FORTRAN was first shared widely among coders. This is recognized as the first modern computer language.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 15. Have a safe Thursday.