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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Ugh, the Red Sox, really?

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Once again, Boston is advancing deep into the postseason after taking down the 100-win Rays in the ALDS. How annoying!

Division Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox - Game Four Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The Red Sox have done it again, much to the chagrin of most on this web site, I’m sure.

The Sox picked up their second straight walkoff win over the Rays last night to win the Division Series, three games to one. They’ll advance to face the winner of the Astros/White Sox series, which Houston will try to clinch with a Game 4 victory this afternoon.

Why does it always have to be the Red Sox?

Whenever you think they’re going to be non-contenders for a while, they rise right back up to annoy Orioles fans everywhere. Last year, the Sox were the butt of the joke in baseball, inexplicably trading away Mookie Betts and then collapsing to a 24-36 record in the truncated season, worse than even the Orioles. And they began the 2021 season by getting swept at home by, yes, the Orioles. Finally, it seemed, the Red Sox were going to be irrelevant for a while.

Nope. Like a bad rash, they just won’t go away. They rehired manager Alex Cora, who’d resigned in disgrace over his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in 2017, after a one-year hiatus. They zoomed back into contention, settling into a wild card spot in the final week despite losing two out of three to — you guessed it — the Orioles. They knocked out the Yankees in the Wild Card Game. And now they’ve taken down the AL’s best team, the Rays, who seemed unbeatable after their Game 1 win.

It’s the worst. I mean, congratulations to them, I guess, but...it’s the worst. I am not ready for the Red Sox to win a fifth World Series in an 18-year span. I don’t exactly want the Astros to be the team to take them down, though. So...go White Sox. Or National League team to be determined. Somebody, anybody, needs to stop the Red Sox, and soon.

Links

Orioles’ 5 questions for the offseason - MLB.com
Joe Trezza ponders a few questions about the winter ahead, including how the Orioles’ roster will change. Looking at their 40-man, I see about 15 players who could be cut immediately without batting an eye. That’s not a good thing.

‘Retire? Nobody ever really does’: Buck Showalter on Baltimore, TV and his managerial future – The Athletic
The longtime Orioles skipper is again hearing his name mentioned for some managerial openings. Am I wrong, or does San Diego seem like the perfect fit? It's an underachieving team that’s built to win now, and it’d reunite Buck with Manny Machado, Wayne Kirby, Bobby Dickerson, and Ryan Flaherty. Make it happen, Padres!

The rise and fall of Valdez and Plutko - School of Roch
Remember the beginning of the season, when we were all, “Thank goodness we’ve got Cesar Valdez and Adam Plutko to stabilize the bullpen!” Oh, how young and naive we were.

Austin Hays stated his case in 2021 - Steve Melewski
Austin Hays has a way of tearing things up in the season’s final weeks, and you’re never quite sure whether it’s just a hot streak or it means he’s finally arrived. Perhaps we’ll find out next year.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have six Orioles birthday buddies: catcher Francisco Pena (32), outfielder Nolan “The Gazelle” Reimold (38), #teampaul infielder Paul Janish (39), right-hander Leslie Brea (48), lefty Sid Fernandez (59), and the late catcher Ray Murray (b. 1917, d. 2003) of the inaugural 1954 Orioles.

October 12 has, historically, been a pretty dismal day for the Orioles in the postseason, with the club going 2-5 on this date. That includes losses in the World Series in both 1969 and 1971 — the former a last at-bat defeat to the Mets in Game 2 on Al Weis’s ninth-inning RBI single against Dave McNally, and the latter a 5-1 loss to Steve Blass and the Pirates in Game 3.

The O’s also lost ALCS games on this date in consecutive years: the first was an 8-4 thumping by the Yankees in 1996 that featured two Darryl Strawberry homers; the other was a walkoff loss to Cleveland, 8-7, on Sandy Alomar’s single off Armando Benitez. Each defeat put the Orioles behind 3-1 in the series, both of which they ultimately lost. And in 2012, the Yankees finished off the Orioles in the ALDS with a decisive Game 5 win behind CC Sabathia’s complete game.

In happier news, the Orioles notched World Series wins on this date in both 1979 — 8-4 in Pittsburgh in Game 3 — and 1983, a 4-1 victory in Game 2, featuring complete games by Scott McGregor and Mike Boddicker, respectively.