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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where this bizarre baseball season is almost over

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Against all odds, MLB is a day or two away from completing the 2020 season. Kudos to everyone for pulling this off.

2020 World Series Game 1: Los Angeles Dodgers v. Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

After yesterday’s second and final “travel day” (in which the teams are not actually traveling), the World Series resumes tonight with Game 6. The Dodgers are a win away from bagging their first championship since 1988, while the Rays would need two victories to earn their first title in franchise history.

And then...that’s it. The season is over. Goodbye and see you next year (we hope), Major League Baseball.

I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of shocked we’ve made it to this point. In April and May, as COVID-19 ran rampant through the world and especially the United States — a fact that, sadly, is still true today — I didn’t think we’d get any kind of MLB season. The contentious, fruitless negotiations between MLB and the Players’ Union made it even more unlikely.

Even when plans for a 60-game schedule were put into place, I figured it would be only a matter of time before an outbreak, or multiple outbreaks, cut the season short. Teams traveling from city to city? No bubble put in place? It’ll never work, I thought.

How wrong I was — and how delighted I am to be wrong. Even two major outbreaks for the Marlins and Cardinals didn’t harpoon the season, as both teams were able to ride out their quarantines and make up almost every game on their schedule, while all other teams avoided any lengthy delays. Everyone involved, from the players to the coaches to all the game day operations staff, deserves major credit for observing the health and safety protocols throughout the season to help pull this thing off.

It was a baseball season unlike we’ve ever seen before. But it was a baseball season, and it brought plenty of entertainment to a lot of people who needed just that.

Poll

Before the season started, did you think MLB would get through a full 60-game schedule and playoffs uninterrupted?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Yup. They had it all the way.
    (37 votes)
  • 73%
    No. I thought they’d have to shut down at some point.
    (126 votes)
  • 4%
    It’s not over yet, you fool! Don’t jinx it!
    (8 votes)
171 votes total Vote Now

Links

Matt Kremnitzer: Orioles SS Jose Iglesias Succeeded A Different Way In 2020 - PressBoxOnline.com
Matt Kremnitzer reviews Iglesias’ offensive surge in 2020 and notes that it would be a bad look for the Orioles to decline his $3.5 million option just to save a few bucks. Agreed — picking up that option should be a slam dunk, and it’s distressing that the Orioles would even consider otherwise.

Talent is there, but staying on field has been a challenge for Austin Hays - Steve Melewski
They have different skill sets, but I get kind of a Nolan Reimold vibe from Austin Hays — a homegrown outfielder with upside who keeps getting sidetracked by injuries. Hopefully Hays will one day have the full, healthy season that Reimold never did.

Wilkerson “thrilled” to be back in utility mix - School of Roch
Indeed, being a candidate to possibly sit on the bench for a losing club is the textbook definition of “thrilling.”

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have five Orioles birthday buddies: 2017 infielder Ruben Tejada (31), 1999-2003 right-hander Jason Johnson (47), eight-game outfielder Pedro Swann (50), 1985-87 lefty Eric Bell (57), and the late Del Rice (b. 1922, d. 1983), whose 17-year MLB career included one lone at-bat for the Birds in 1960.

On this day in 1972, the Orioles reacquired catcher Elrod Hendricks, whom they’d traded to the Cubs two months earlier. It started the second of Hendricks’ three stints as a player for the Orioles — in which he totaled more than 2,000 plate appearances — before his lengthy 28-year career as the Birds’ bullpen coach.