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Sunday Bird Droppings: The Birdland football battle looms

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The Ravens are playing the Washington Football Team on Sunday, which typically leaves Orioles fans on both sides.

Washington Nationals v Baltimore Orioles
Only one NFL team’s starting quarterback gets honored at Orioles games.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 179 days remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game. If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that there are a number of things that could happen to result in the scheduled game not being played on that date.

For today, the only real sports entertainment to be found in Birdland is in a football game between the Ravens and the recently-renamed Washington Football Team. Perhaps you are invested one way or another in the outcome. This also assumes no hiccups in that game being played, as the NFL has had two games postponed recently with COVID-19 as well and there’s no telling when it will crop up elsewhere.

Baseball’s playoffs won’t be under way again until tomorrow, when the neutral site ALDS matchups between the Astros and Athletics as well as the Yankees and Rays will get under way. With all three AL Central teams that made the playoffs being dispatched in the first round, both of the ALDS pairings feature division opponents. Go figure.

Things didn’t go any better for the four NL Central teams. They all lost, so the NL series that begin on Tuesday will also feature two East teams playing one another and two West teams playing one another. That’s a tough break. Maybe they can tell themselves that it was only best-of-three and it was a fluky loss. Perhaps in some cases that’s even true.

Around the blogO’sphere

A look at O’s rotation improvement in 2020 (Steve Melewski)
And the pitching coach who oversaw the improvement won’t be coming back in 2021, so... I don’t know! Although a 5.09 ERA as a group still isn’t that great. It was 11th in the AL.

Biq questions facing the O’s this offseason (Orioles.com)
Number one is what to do about Chris Davis. I think we are all already resigned to his still being around at the start of 2021 spring training.

Gunnar Henderson was the youngest prospect at O’s camp. He might have benefited the most. (Baltimore Sun)
There are a number of guys who O’s fans have to hope that the Bowie camp was able to help in the absence of a traditional minor league season and Gunnar Henderson is near the top of the list.

Armstrong armed with effective plan in 2020 (School of Roch)
15 innings pitched is a small sample size, but hey, a 1.80 ERA is pretty good.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1969, the Orioles won the first ever American League Championship Series game, beating the Twins, 4-3. In those early days the ALCS was best-of-five. The Orioles won in three.

In 1993, the sale of the Orioles to Peter Angelos was approved by MLB owners.

In 2001, Tim Raines Sr. and Jr. played in the same Orioles outfield as the O’s lost to the Red Sox, 5-4. They were the second father-son duo to play in the same game, joining the Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr.

In 2016, Zack Britton did not pitch.

There are several former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2017 swingman Alec Asher, 2016 reserve outfielder Drew Stubbs, 1992-94 infielder Mark McLemore, 1974-75 reliever Dave Johnson (not that one), and 1954 reserve Don Lenhardt.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: mathematician Louis Francois Antoine Arbogast (1759), 19th president Rutherford B. Hayes (1822), actor Buster Keaton (1895), author Anne Rice (1941), hip hop label founder Russell Simmons (1957), and actor Alicia Silverstone (1976).

On this day in history...

In 1363, forces of Chinese warlord Zhu Yuanzhang defeated other rebellious rivals under Chen Youliang, ending the month-plus Battle of Lake Poyang, one of history’s largest naval battles. Zhu later became the first emperor of the Ming dynasty.

In 1853, the Ottoman Empire declared war on the Russian Empire, beginning the Crimean War.

In 1927, the sculpting of Mount Rushmore got underway.

In 1957, Sputnik 1 orbited the Earth, the first man-made satellite to do so.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 4. Have a safe Sunday.