Good morning Birdland,
They did it. After seven straight playoff trips without a World Series win, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally broke through, beating the Rays in Game 6 on Tuesday by a score of 3-1 to give them their first championship since 1988.
In some ways it felt inevitable. The Dodgers were the best team all season and always seemed like the favorites to win the whole thing. But coming up short so many times in recent postseasons led to understandable worries.
There has already been a decent amount of second-guessing Rays manager Kevin Cash and his decision to remove starter Blake Snell so early in the decisive game. It’s fair criticism. Snell was cruising and has a pedigree that deserves a longer leash than most. But he was also due to face the meat of the Los Angeles order for a third time and only had a one-run lead. Cash’s move wasn’t out of left field. It’s how the Rays function. It’s what allowed them to get so far.
Regardless, it is not as if the Rays lost this series as much as the Dodgers won it. The are a supremely talented club that might still have another World Series in their future with a guy like Mookie Betts around for the next decade.
But at least the Red Sox have some financial flexibility.
Links & Notes
Five questions the Orioles will have to answer this offseason | The Baltimore Sun
This offseason is lining up to be pretty ugly for the Orioles. They have fired assistant coaches in what was reported as a cost-cutting measure. Plus, they have been furloughing and laying off administrative staff in the warehouse.
Looking forward to a return to normal | School of Roch
There are some things to like about these Orioles in 2021 despite a few obvious deficiencies. Trey Mancini might be back. The outfield should be a lot of fun. The pitching staff is (largely) young and exciting. And, of course, Adley Rutschman might show up too.
More significant improvement: record or players? | Steve Melewski
The 2020 season was all about the Orioles seeing what they had in the upper minors. We learned that a lot of it was pretty good. Ryan Mountcastle is a legitimate bat. Dean Kremer looks like he will fit in the rotation for a long time. Keegan Akin and Bruce Zimmermann will be contributors as well. There was never an expectation to win, that was always icing.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
It’s Corban Joseph’s 32nd birthday. The utility player spent a few seasons in the Orioles organization but only played in 14 games for the big league squad, all of which came during the 2018 season.
Nate McLouth turns 39. The outfielder hit .261/.333/.409 across two seasons with the Orioles between 2012 and 2013.
Happy 54th birthday to Juan Guzman. The right-handed pitcher appeared in 32 games and had a 4.20 ERA between 1998 and 1999 with the O’s.
The current Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin turns 59 today. During his playing days he spent three seasons with the Orioles from 1989 through 1991, slashing .244/.274/.317 while playing solid defense behind the plate.
Finally, it is the birthday of the late Sammy Stewart (b. 1954, d. 2018). The right-handed pitcher played eight seasons with the O’s from 1978 through 1984. He had a 3.47 ERA over 307 total appearances.
Nothing of note in Orioles history has taken place on October 28th, according to Baseball Reference. So, here are some interesting things that happened outside of Birdland: