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Saturday Bird Droppings: The final weekend of Orioles baseball this year

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We have just two more games of O’s baseball to cherish.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

There are only two games remaining on the Orioles 2020 schedule. Typically, during a season in which the O’s aren’t in playoff contention, the conclusion of the regular season can come as a relief of sorts. We dedicate a not insignificant amount of time in watching these guys play baseball nearly every night, and sometimes it can be a welcome change to stop watching a struggling team take the field.

But it is different —at least for me— in 2020. This Orioles team was flawed, sure, but they were also charming and a lot of fun. They were daily underdogs with basically zero household names. And they emerged from a hazy season with a more clear picture of what the next competitive O’s team will look like.

We are far from guaranteed to get a “normal” 162-game season in 2021. But let us pretend, for a moment, that that is exactly what we will get. In that event, I already have a laser focus on the season opener on April 1st in Boston. Get hype!

Links

Hyde on Sunday starter, Núñez, Hays leading off and Santander - School of Roch
We will get to see Keegan Akin once more before the season ends. That will be nice, unless he doesn’t pitch well. Then it would be bad and cast doubt on the Orioles entire pitching staff for the 2021 season. But, ya know, hopefully the former.

Now Healthy, Austin Hays Providing Late-Season Spark For Orioles - PressBox
Austin Hays’s season did not go as anticipated. He missed a month with an injury, and his overall statistics have been good but not great. That said, his September performance has been impressive and his defense has been strong all summer. He is set up, once again, to make a run at a starting outfield spot next year.

Stumbling down the home stretch (Podcast) - The Warehouse Podcast
We all could use ANOTHER podcast to listen to, right? Right!? Well, maybe you could at least put this one in the background at a very low volume. Every download counts.

MLB Draft to be held in July for 1st time in ‘21 - MLB.com
I missed this one on Thursday, but it felt noteworthy. It is unclear how the order of the 2021 draft will be determined, but we do have a date. Teams will select their stars of the future from July 11-13, 2021 during All-Star Weekend in Georgia. I can dig that.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday this weekend? Happy birthday!

Doug Sisk celebrates his 63rd birthday. He spent the 1988 season with the Orioles, accumulated a 3.72 ERA and 1.633 over 52 games and 94.1 innings.

It is the 75th birthday of Dave Duncan, a longtime big league catcher that played the 1975 and ‘76 seasons with the O’s. Over 189 games as an Oriole, Duncan batted .205/.258/.310 with 16 home runs, 14 doubles and 68 OPS+.

This day in history

1956 - Orioles pitcher Charlie Beamon makes his first career major league start, shutting out the New York Yankees 1-0.

1962 - Orioles pitcher Dave McNally makes his first career, shutting out the Oakland Athletics 3-0.

1971 - Jim Palmer registers his 20th win of the season, becoming the fourth member of the O’s pitching staff to do it this season.

1978 - Mike Flanagan loses a no-hitter when Cleveland Indians outfielder Gary Alexander homers with two outs in the ninth inning. The next two batters singled, and Flanagan was lifted in favor of Don Stanhouse, who would close out a 3-1 win for the Orioles.

1994 - O’s manager Johnny Oates is fired.